Just do it. Eat that Frog Brian Tracy
Galileo once wrote,
“You cannot teach a person something he does not already know; you can only bring what he does know to his awareness.”
Success Is Predictable
Simply put, some people are doing better than others because they do things differently and they do the right things right.
A Simple Truth
The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status and happiness in life.
YOU will never be able to do everything you have to do
The Need to Be Selective
An average person who develops the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circlesaround a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but who gets very little done.
Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.
The first rule of frog-eating is: “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.”
The second rule of frog-eating is: “If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.”
SO, if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else .you are paid and promoted for getting specific, measurable results Many people confuse activity with accomplishment.
The habit of setting priorities, overcoming procrastination and getting on with your most important task is a mental and physical skill.With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit that you consider either desirable or necessary. The three key qualities to develop the habits decision, discipline, and determination.
“Think on paper.”
“There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it.” Napoleon Hill
Clarity is perhaps the most important concept in personal productivity.A major reason for procrastination and lack of motivation is vagueness, confusion and fuzzy mindedness about what it is you are trying to do, and in what order and for what reason.
Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.> Decide exactly what you want. Write it down. Set a deadline on your goal . Make a list of everything that you can think of that you
are going to have to do to achieve your goal. . Organize the list into a plan [by priority and sequence] Take action on your plan immediately. Resolve to do something every single day that moves
you toward your major goal
“One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.” Stephen Covey says that, “Before you begin scrambling up the ladder of success, make sure that it is leaning against the right building
Plan Every Day In Advance
Q:”How do you eat an elephant?”A:”One bite at a time!”
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein
Alex Mackenzie wrote, “Action without planning is the cause of every failure.”
Your mind, your ability to think, plan and decide, is your most powerful tool for overcoming procrastination and increasing your productivity .The more time you take to make written lists of everything you have to do, in advance, the more effective and efficient you will be
Adopt Six “P” Formula. It says, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”
10/90 Rule says that the first 10% of time that you spend planning and organizing your work, before you begin, will save you as much as 90% of the time in getting the job done once you get started.
Apply Pareto Principle -“Resist the temptation to clear up small things first.”
“We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.” Wolfgang Von Goethe
80/20 Rule >”vital few,” the top 20% in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many,” the bottom 80%. 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results.So universally 20 Pct value accounts for 80 Pct volume.
The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex and these invariably payoff and reward tremendously
Just thinking about starting and finishing an important task motivates you and helps you to overcome procrastination
If you procrastinate on important things they become urgent
Consider the Consequences-“Long-term thinking improves short-term decision making.”
“Every man has become great; every successful man has succeeded, in proportion as he has confined his powers to one particular channel.” Orison Swett Marden
The potential consequences of any task or activity are the key determinants of how important it really is to you and to your company.
“long-time perspective” is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility;future-orientation of the consequences of your actions.
“What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?” “Future intent influences and often determines present actions.”
Think about the Long Term
“Failures do what is tension relieving while winners do what is goal achieving.”
Motivation requires motive.the time is going to pass anyway. The only question is how you use it and where you are going to end up at the end of the weeks and months
“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.”
“There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do.”
Deadlines Are an Excuse
Sometimes the job actually takes much longer to complete when people rush to get the job done at the last minute and then have to redo it
The question is “What are my highest value activities?””What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?” “What is the most valuable use of my
time, right now?”
Peter Drucker said DO ONLY ,What can you, and only you do, that if done well, can make a real difference!!
As Goethe said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” “Just begin and the mind grows heated;continue, and the task will be completed!”
Practice Creative Procrastination “You can only get your time and your life under control to the degree to which you discontinue lower value activities.”
“Make time for getting big tasks done every day. Plan your daily workload in advance. Single out the relatively few small jobs that absolutely must be done immediately in the morning. Then go directly to the big tasks and pursue them to completion.” Boardroom Reports
The fact is that you can’t do everything that you have to do. You have to procrastinate on something! Therefore, procrastinate on small tasks
A priority is something that you do more of and sooner, while a posteriority is something that you do less of and later, if at all.
Say it politely and courteously. “No!” Say it early and say it often.
Procrastinate on Purpose
Most people engage in unconscious procrastination.set posteriorities wherever and whenever you can.
Use the ABCDE Method Continually
“The first law of success is concentration – to bend all the energies to one point, and to go directly to that point, looking neither to the right or to the left.” William Mathews
An “A” item is defined as something that is very important. This is something that you must do. This is a task for which there can be serious consequences if you do it or fail to do it If you have more than one “A” task, you prioritize these tasks by
writing A-1, A-2, A-3, and so on in front of each item
A “B” item is defined as a task that you should do. But it only has mild consequences. These are the tadpoles of your work life. This means that someone may be unhappy or inconvenienced if you don’t do it, but it is nowhere as important as an “A” task. The rule is that you should never do a “B” task when there is an “A”
task left undone
A “C” task is defined as something that would be nice to do, but for which there are no consequences at all, whether you do it or not. This has no affect at all on your work life.
A “D” task is defined as something you can delegate to someone else. The rule is that you should delegate everything that anyone else can do so that you can free up more time for the “A” tasks that only you can do.
An “E” task is defined as something that you can eliminate altogether and it won’t make any real difference
But every minute that you spend on an “E” task is time taken away from a task or activity that can make a real difference in your life
Focus On Key Result Areas
“When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.” Norman Vincent Peale
In its simplest terms, you have been hired to get specific results
The Big Seven
key result areas of management are: Planning,Organizing, Staffing, Delegating, Supervising, Measuring andReporting
key result areas of salespeople are: Prospecting, Building Rapport and Trust, Identifying Needs, Presenting Persuasively, Answering Objections, Closing the Sale, and Getting Resales and Referrals
Clarity Is Essential
The starting point of high performance is for you to first of all identify the key result areas of your work The employee’s ability to perform these tasks quickly and efficiently largely determines her pay and promotability.
Give Yourself a Grade
Grade yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each of those of your key result areas .Your weakest key result area sets the height at which you can use all your other skills and abilities
The better you become in a particular skill area, the more motivated you will be to perform that function, the less you will procrastinate and the more determined you will be to get it finished
The Great Question
“What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my career?” The good news is that all business skills are learnable .Never stop improving
The Law of Three
““Do what you can with what you have right where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
One Thing All Day Long
“Once I had made up this list, you then told me to ask this question, ‘If you could only do one thing on this list, all day long, which one task would contribute the greatest value to your company?’ 90% of the value that you contribute to your company is contained in those TOP three tasks
Your rewards, both financial and emotional, will always be in direct proportion to your results, to the value of your contribution.It is quality of time at work that counts and quantity of time at home that matters.
When you go to work, put your head down and work the whole time. Start a little earlier, stay a little later, and work a little harder. Don’t waste time ..By not working effectively and efficiently during your workday, you create unnecessary stress and you deprive the members of your family of the very best person you can possibly be.
Prepare Thoroughly Before You Begin.“You miss every shot you don’t take.” Wayne Gretsky,
“No matter what the level of your ability, you have more potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime.” James T. McKay
When you are fully prepared, you are like a cocked gun or an archer with an arrow pulled back taut in the bow. You just need one small mental push to get started on your highest value tasks.
Once you have completed your preparations, it is essential that you launch immediately toward your goals. Get started. Do the first thing, whatever it is. Don’t expect perfection the first time, or even the first few times. “get it 80% right and then correct it later.”
Take It One Oil Barrel at A Time
“Persons with comparatively moderate powers will accomplish much if they apply themselves wholly and indefatigably to one thing at a time.” Samuel Smiles
Confucius wrote that, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step.”
Take It One Step at a Time. Your job is to go as far as you can see. You will then see far enough to go further.
Upgrade Your Key Skills
“The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” Og Mandino
Pat Riley, said, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”
Never Stop Learning .“Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.”
One of the most helpful of all time management techniques is for you to get better at your key tasks. One piece of information or one additional skill can make an enormous difference in your ability to do the job well.
Three Steps to Mastery
First, read in your field for at least one hour every day Second, take every course and seminar available on key skills that can help you Third, listen to educational/developmental programs ,say while drving.The more you learn and know, the more confident and motivated you feel .And there is no limit to how far or how fast you can advance except for the limits you place on your own imagination.
Leverage Your Special Talents
“Do your work. Not just your work and no more, but a little more for the lavishings sake – that little more that is worth all the rest.” Dean Briggs
There are certain things that you can do, or that you can learn to do, that can make you extraordinarily valuable to yourself and to others.
Increase Your Earning Ability .
Take stock of your unique talents and abilities on a regular basis. What is it that you do especially well? What are you good at? What do you do easily and well that is difficult for other people?
Do What You Love to Do
What is it that you enjoy the most about your work? What is it that you do that gets you the most compliments and praise from other people? You cannot do everything but you can do those few things in which you excel, the few things that can really make a difference.
Identify Your Key Constraints .Why aren’t you at your goal already?
“Concentrate all your thoughts on the task at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” Alexander Graham Bell
Ask yourself these questions: What is holding you back? What sets the speed at which you achieve your goals? What determines how fast you move from where you are to where you want to go?
Whatever you have to do, there is always a limiting factor that determines how quickly and well you get it done.
The accurate identification of the limiting factor in any process and the focus on that factor can usually bring about more progress in a shorter period of time than any other single activity.
80% of the constraints, the factors that are holding you back from achieving your goals, are internal. They are within yourself, within your own personal qualities, abilities, habits, disciplines or competencies Only 20% of the limiting factors are external outside, in the form of competition, markets, governments or other organizations
Look Into Yourself
“What is it in me that is holding me back?” The failure to identify the correct constraint, or the identification of the wrong constraint, can lead you off in the wrong direction.
Often, starting off your day with the removal of a key bottleneck or constraint fills you full of energy and personal power
Put the Pressure on Yourself “No one is coming to the rescue/motivate.”
“The first requisite for success is to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.” Thomas Edison
Only about 2% of people can work entirely without supervision. We call these people “leaders.” and others of ofcourse continue as followers
The standards you set for your own work and behavior should be higher than anyone else could set for you. Always look for ways to go the extra mile, to do more than you are paid for
Then race against your own clock. Beat your own deadlines
Maximize Your Personal Powers
“Gather in your resources, rally all your faculties, marshal all your energies, focus all your capacities upon mastery of at least one field of endeavor.” John Haggai
Overworking Can Mean Underproducing
The more tired you become, the worse will be the quality of your work and the more mistakes you will make.
At a certain point, like a battery that is run down, you can reach “the wall” and simply be unable to continue.
Work at Your Own Pace
There are specific times during the day when you are at your best for certain things you. Take at least one full day off every week. It is true that “a change is as good as a rest.”
Aim to exercise 30 minutes per day, to Guard Your Physical Health By eating lean and healthy, exercising regularly and getting lots of rest, you’ll get more and better work done, easier and with greater satisfaction than ever before.
Motivate Yourself into Action .Optimistic people seem to be more effective.
“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and of creative action that man finds his supreme joys.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Most of your emotions, positive or negative, are determined by how you talk to yourself on a minute-to-minute basis. It is not what happens to you but the way that you interpret the things that are happening to you that determines how you feel .You should talk to yourself positively all the time to boost your self-esteem.
“The last great freedom of mankind is the freedom to choose your attitude under any set of external conditions.” Victor Frankl
“You should never share your problems with others because 80% of people don’t care about them anyway, and the other 20% are kind of glad that you’ve got them in the first place.”
1. look for the good in every situation 2. difficulties come not to obstruct, but to instruct. 3.look for the solution to every problem 4.continually visualize your goals and ideals and talk to yourself in a positive way,
Get Out Of the Technological Time Sinks .Don’t Become Addicted
“There is more to life than just increasing its speed.” Ghandhi
Technology can be your best friend or your worst enemy .Technology is meant to help us to improve the quality of our lives by enabling us to accomplish our key tasks and communicate with the key people in our world faster and more efficiently than ever before you need to detach on a regular basis from the technology and communication devices that can overwhelm you if you are not careful
Continuous Contact Is Not Essential
Refuse to Be a Slave. Technology is there to help you, not to hinder you, A Servant, Not a Master .Keep asking yourself, “What’s important here?”
Maintain your “inner calm” by forcing yourself to stop on a regular basis and “listen to the silence.”
There are very few things that are so important that they cannot wait.“If it is really important, someone will tell you.”
Slice and Dice the Task-Develop a Compulsion to Closure
“The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocably in thought and act.” Orison Swett Marden
you lay out the task in detail and then resolve to do just one slice of the job for the time being, like eating a roll of salami, one slice at a time ;once you have started and completed a single part of the job, you will feel like doing just one more “slice.”
And the bigger the task you start and complete, the better and more elated you feel .Each small step forward energizes you
You Swiss cheese a task when you resolve to work for a specific time period on a task. This may be as little as five or ten minutes, after which you will stop and do something else .Once you start working, you develop a sense of forward momentum and a feeling of accomplishment. Don’t delay. Try it today!
Create Large Chunks of Time-Make Every Minute Count
“Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.” Nido Qubein
Your ability to create and carve out these blocks of high value, highly productive time, is central to your ability to make a significant contribution to your work and your life.
Remember, the pyramids were built one block at a time.Use travel and transition time, what is often called “gifts of time” ,deliberately and creatively organize,to complete small chunks of larger tasks.
Develop A Sense of Urgency
“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” Napoleon Hill
Highly productive people take the time to think, plan and set priorities. They then launch quickly and strongly toward their goals and objectives. They work steadily, smoothly and continuously One of the ways you can trigger this state of flow is by developing a “sense of urgency.” This is an inner drive and desire to get on with the job quickly and get it done fast .You focus on specific steps you can take immediately
Build Up a Sense of Momentum-Do It Now!
Although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going.
Nothing will help you more in your career than for you to get the reputation for being the kind of person who gets important work done quickly and well
Single Handle Every Task
“And herein lies the secret of true power. Learn, by constant practice, how to husband your resources, and concentrate them, at any given moment, upon a given point.” James Allen
Your ability to select your most important task, to begin it and then to concentrate on it single mindedly until it is complete is the key to high levels of performance and personal productivity
Once You Get Going, Keep Going
keep working at the task, without diversion or distraction, until the job is 100% complete.Persistence is actually self-discipline in action
The truth is that once you have decided on your number one task, anything else that you do other than that is a relative waste of time
Elbert Hubbard defined self discipline as, “The ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”