Did you eat your frog today?

By johannatime On January 22, 2014 Under Productivity vs Procrastination

We all have those tasks that just sit on our to do lists and don’t get done. And by having one such task permanently residing there, other tasks seem to get comfortable to stay, too. They are a pain in terms of your productivity, and you waste time and energy by procrastinating on them. Your to do list should be a dynamic tool, and these sticky actions just don’t seem to obey the rules of getting done and ticked off.

I call them frogs, after this little video (and book) by Brian Tracy. And I have been experimenting with eating at least one every day, first thing in the morning. I’m getting the taste of it.

Frog task characteristics

I’m talking about tasks that are a pain to do, that you feel uncomfortable about, or that are difficult because you haven’t done them before, or worse, you have tried but failed, or worst, to complete the task, you’d need to step outside of your comfort zone. Have a look at your to do list: the tasks that have been sitting there for more than two weeks are the frogs. You procrastinate on those because there’s always other stuff on your list, too, that you can and will do first.

There are urgent frogs, too, you know, that difficult person you need to call back today, or for some people: daily exercise. Tasks that get pushed to the margins of the day, or postponed until the next. For the entire day, they nag and bug.

So eat that frog and do it early in the morning

I have some very easy to follow tips for you and I’d like to encourage you to try this recipe for at least a couple of weeks:

  1. Label the tasks on your to do list that you consider to be frogs. You know exactly where they are. If you don’t have a to do list, just sit down for a moment and write down what’s bothering you because you haven’t done it and you know you should
  2. Start the day by doing one such task
  3. Do that every day

By the end of the week, you’ve done five. Or even seven (there’s home frogs, too). You’ll find that frogs are getting tastier.

The benefits of eating a frog every day

  • You kickstart your day. You’d be surprised what it does for your productivity
  • You’ll experience a morale boost: after finishing your frog you can do anything
  • Your to do list gets unstuck
  • Because you expose yourself to your dislikes and fears on a daily basis, not avoiding them anymore, you’ll find it easier to do: there will be less frogs

Try it, and please tell me how you go, by sharing your frogs and fears in the comments below:

Johanna Jansen

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