Eat that frog — Summary

Learn how to beat procrastination by doing what matters first

Did you ever worry about not being productive enough to get important things done? Procrastination is a problem most people tackle with. Fortunately, there is a way to prioritize your tasks so that you tackle the biggest, most important tasks first – or to “eat the frog first” – and become more productive.

Make a good plan first

Clarity is an important part of productivity. The day is always too short to do everything we want. You have to identify the most important tasks and do them first.

It’s a good thing to create a checklist of your goals. Only one percent of adults manage their time with written goals, and interestingly, they accomplish five to ten times as much as people – even highly educated people – who don’t write their goals down.

The next thing to do is making your goals executable, that often means breaking them down into smaller parts, into a series of steps you can deal with one after another.

Checklists help you stay motivated and focused, after having completed a goal it will be greatly satisfying to mark the task as completed in your checklist.

Prioritizing tasks

Operating with TO-DO lists helps saving time. When you know what you have to do next with a peek on your list, you don’t waste time deciding what to do next.

Your TO-DO list should have the most important tasks on the top. Those important tasks should be the first to perform. Even if you don’t get to the rest of them, you have to finish the important tasks! That is applying the Pareto Principle to time management.

Assigning importance to tasks then becomes crucial. How can you know which ones are more important? You have to think about the consequences of your actions. Which action will generate the most impact? That’s the one which should be on the top of your list. You have to start at the top, and eat that frog!

Identify and build on your strengths

As explained in the book Manage yourself, you have to identify your strengths and then explore their potential. And to do that you have to know yourself. You have to know your own skills. Even if you think you don’t have a special talent, there will be something which you are really good at, find that something.

Ask yourself the right questions to get started. “What comes easy for me that’s difficult for others?” “What do other people compliment me about?”

Be a constant learner

Forget about the idea that you have a fixed number of years where you learn, and then go out to perform. You should be learning every day of your life. Never stop learning. If you become a constant learner, that will set you apart from the rest and ensure that you keep growing.

Refine your skills, work on them constantly, and you will prevent that they deteriorate like the skills of most people who stop practicing once they finish their education.

Take advantage of your time

The average driver spends from 500-1000 hours on the road each year. So much time you could use to listen to audio programs and books. Take advantage of your time. Many people who complain that they don’t have time to read, don’t realize that they would have enough time just by taking advantage of audiobooks.

Self improvement is a lifestyle.

Take care of your thoughts and emotions

95% of your emotions result from our self-talk. Your thoughts really create reality. Thoughts lead to actions. So strive for optimism! Look at solutions, not problems.

Positive thinking not only will make you feel better, but it also will make you more confident and creative. And those are all very important to become successful.

Don’t blame, acknowledge what holds you back, and then overcome it

Thinking positively don’t mean you have to ignore negative things. It just means you think in a constructive manner about them. Acknowledge what holds you back, then work to fix it. In the beginning, you won’t have all the necessary skills, but if you start working on them, soon enough you will reap the rewards.

Don’t be conformed, set the bar high for yourself

As explained int the book The Talent Code and Bounce, you have to set the bar high in order to keep progressing. If you think “I’m good enough” then you inevitably will plateau or even loose your skill. Keep setting high expectations for yourself.

If you keep expecting improvement from yourself, you’ll become a leader. People who are leaders don’t need other people to tell them what to do.

Identify what you want to achieve, confront your limitations, and eat the frog first. That way you’ll fight procrastination easily.

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Also published on Medium.