Say What? Eat The Biggest, Ugliest Frog First?
Mark Twain reckoned:
“If your job is to eat a frog, then you should do that first thing in the morning. If your job is to eat two frogs, then you should eat the biggest and ugliest one first.”
I personally think you should change jobs pronto, but that’s beside the point.
What he means is, you should look at the list of things you have to do, and start with the one you feel the least like doing. This is usually the biggest and the most important task too.
One thing I discovered working for myself, it’s almost always easier to just start with the easy things. The stuff you enjoy doing. Also, quite often, not the tasks that help you to build your business.
It’s not easy to be your own boss. It takes a lot of self-discipline. That could be why so few people actually achieve success on their own. Not because they have fewer skills, knowledge or ability. It’s simply a case of not having enough discipline to ‘eat the biggest frog first’
Do You Often Feel You’ve Accomplished Very Little At The End Of The Day?
I used to have days when I was constantly ‘busy’, yet I could show very little for all my ‘busyness’. Not only that, nothing I did even helped to build my business. This lead to despondency and often made the next day even less productive…
Fortunately there are simple solutions to turn this around and focus on the important stuff. When you structure your day correctly, it will make a world of difference.
1) Create A To-Do List
Many people think creating a ‘to-do’ list is a waste of time. Personally the most successful people I know, are also the people who religiously write down their to-do list.
Whether you do it first thing in the morning, or the night before depends on your personal preference. I like to write mine the day before. By doing that, I have time to reflect and mull over ideas. It also helps me to leave something unfinished 🙂
For instance, if I know I have to write a series of blog posts, I start planning them in my head. By the time I sit down to write, I usually have a lot of points to get going with.
2) Structure Your List
Organize your tasks in order of importance. In other words, put that big, ugly frog right at the top. It’s difficult, especially in the beginning. However, once you get the hang of it, AND your realize how much more you get done, it becomes easier and very rewarding.
Although it’s important to stick to your list as much as possible, remember that it is not written in stone. You can always change things around (and often you have to due to external circumstances). The main thing is not to change things around just so you can put off doing the more important stuff.
3) Leave Something Unfinished
Now that sounds very counter-productive, doesn’t it? But let me explain. I don’t mean you should leave something on your list for the day unfinished. No, you should start on tomorrow’s list.
Imagine writing a 10 000 word report is your first task for the day. That is a major task and if you start it in the morning, you might find yourself doing everything you can to put it off.
On the other hand, if you start writing the first few paragraphs the day before, you’ve already made a start. Carrying on the next day is much easier because you already have a starting point.
These tips might seem very simple, but they work! Just try it for a week and see the difference in your productivity.
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