Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you have to do today.
Imagine eating a live frog first thing in the morning. You will certainly spend the rest of the day thinking the worst thing you had to today has been accomplished and the rest of the day can’t help but be better. That’s Brian Tracy’s idea in his book Eat That Frog First.
Your “frog” is a task you must accomplish that will have significant impact on your medium‑ or long‑term personal or professional goals. However, it is you are reluctant to do it, and you put it off day after day.
Professionally, your frog may be doing your financial statements, making an appointment with your accountant; paying the bills, reviewing your insurance, tuning up the machinery for the busy season, removing the snow from the roof after a heavy snowfall, etc.
On the personal side, it could be making an appointment with the lawyer to review your will, doing your daily 30 minutes of exercise, making an appointment with the doctor for your annual physical, discussing a drug problem with your child, etc.
There are several reasons we procrastinate or put off things we have to do till tomorrow. We might not be very interested in the task in question, or fear we are not up to it. We may also be careless and deny the negative consequences of postponing the task. Finally, the lack of vision and clarity with respect to priorities and life goals may also lead to procrastination. Many people believe that to successfully reach a goal, all you need is talent and intelligence, and to work hard, fast and effectively. Of course, all this helps, but it is most important to get into the habit of selecting the most important tasks each day, carrying them out, and completing them. This skill, more than any other, will determine your success.
Remember that it is not enough to do things well, it is also important that the things you do well are the right things. Furthermore, if you do more things more quickly, but what you do is poorly chosen, you will only get poor results faster.
1) Decide on, and write down, your life goals and priorities (personal, couple, family, social, financial and professional).
2) Set deadlines for your goals.
3) Consider the consequences: the most important tasks and priorities are those which have the most impact, both positive and negative, in your life.
4) Apply the 80/20 law: 20% of your activities generate 80% of your results. Work on the 20%.
5) Make an action plan for each overall goal in order to break it down into concrete steps on which you can take action.
6) Plan your year, month, week and day as a function of the goals and objectives you have established for yourself.
7) Take 10 minutes each day to plan it out and 30 to 45 minutes to plan your week. You will save hours and you will make better choices. Do not forget PPPPPP: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
8) Each day, make up your mind that you are going to do one thing that brings you closer to your overall goals.
9) Start your day by eating your frog. You will feel liberated, satisfied and more in control of your life.
Work Psychologist, professionnal speaker, author and business coach