Eat That Frog! : 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
The legendary Eat That Frog! (more than 450,000 copies sold and translated into 23 languages) provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. This new edition is revised and updated throughout, and includes brand new information on how to keep technology from dominating our time.
- You can get control of your time and your life only by changing the way you think, work, and deal with the never-ending river of responsibilities that flows over you each day. You can get control of your tasks and activities only to the degree that you stop doing some things and start spending more time on the few activities that can really make a difference in your life.
- This is another way of saying that 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.
- Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.
- The habit of setting priorities, overcoming procrastination, and getting on with your most important task is a mental and physical skill.
- First, make a decision to develop the habit of task completion. Second, discipline yourself to practice the principles you are about to learn over and over until they become automatic. And third, back everything you do with determination until the habit is locked in and becomes a permanent part of your personality.
- See yourself as the kind of person who gets important jobs done quickly and well on a consistent basis.
- A major reason for procrastination and lack of motivation is vagueness, confusion, and fuzzy-mindedness about what you are trying to do and in what order and for what reason.
- Step seven: Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal. Build this activity into your daily schedule. You may decide to read a specific number of pages on a key subject. You may call on a specific number of prospects or customers. You may engage in a specific period of physical exercise. You may learn a certain number of new words in a foreign language. Whatever it is, you must never miss a day.
- You may have heard of the Six-P Formula. It says, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”
- You need different lists for different purposes. First, you should create a master list on which you write down everything you can think of that you want to do sometime in the future. This is the place where you capture every idea and every new task or responsibility that comes up. You can sort out the items later. Second, you should have a monthly list that you make at the end of the month for the month ahead. This may contain items transferred from your master list. Third, you should have a weekly list where you plan your entire week in advance. This is a list that is under construction as you go through the current week. This discipline of systematic time planning can be very helpful to you. Many people have told me that the habit of taking a couple of hours at the end of each week to plan the coming week has increased their productivity dramatically and changed their lives completely. This technique will work for you as well.
- Begin today to plan every day, week, and month in advance. Take a notepad or sheet of paper (or use your smartphone) and make a list of everything you have to do in the next twenty-four hours. Add to your list as new items come up. Make a list of all your projects, the big multitask jobs that are important to your future. 2. Lay out all of your major goals, projects, and tasks by priority, what is most important, and by sequence, what has to be done first, what comes second, and so forth. Start with the end in mind and work backward.
- Often, a single task can be worth more than all the other nine items put together. This task is invariably the frog that you should eat first. Can you guess on which items the average person is most likely to procrastinate? The sad fact is that most people procrastinate on the top 10 or 20 percent of items that are the most valuable and important, the “vital few.” They busy themselves instead with the least important 80 percent, the “trivial many” that contribute very little to results.
- 1. Make a list of all the key goals, activities, projects, and responsibilities in your life today. Which of them are, or could be, in the top 10 or 20 percent of tasks that represent, or could represent, 80 or 90 percent of your results? 2. Resolve today that you are going to spend more and more of your time working in those few areas that can really make a difference in your life and career and spend less and less time on lower-value activities.
- “Losers try to escape from their fears and drudgery with activities that are tension-relieving. Winners are motivated by their desires toward activities that are goal-achieving.”
- For example, coming into work earlier, reading regularly in your field, taking courses to improve your skills, and focusing on high-value tasks in your work will all combine to have an enormous positive impact on your future. On the other hand, coming into work at the last moment, reading the newspaper, drinking coffee, and socializing with your coworkers may seem fun and enjoyable in the short term but inevitably leads to lack of promotion, underachievement, and frustration in the long term.
- Thinking continually about the potential consequences of your choices, decisions, and behaviors is one of the very best ways to determine your true priorities in your work and personal life.
- The Law of Forced Efficiency says, “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” Put another way, you cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat the biggest and ugliest one, and that will be enough, at least for the time being.
- Rule: There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do.
- You can use three questions on a regular basis to keep yourself focused on completing your most important tasks on schedule. The first question is, “What are my highest-value activities?” Put another way, what are the biggest frogs that you have to eat to make the greatest contribution to your organization? To your family? To your life in general?
- The second question you can ask continually is, “What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?” This question came from the late Peter Drucker, the management guru. It is one of the most important of all questions for achieving personal effectiveness.
- The third question you can ask is, “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” In other words, “What is my biggest frog of all at this moment?”
- Review your list of tasks, activities, and projects regularly. Continually ask yourself, “Which one project or activity, if I did it in an excellent and timely fashion, would have the greatest positive consequences in my work or personal life?” 2. Determine the most important thing you could be doing every hour of every day, and then discipline yourself to work continually on the most valuable use of your time. What is this for you right now? Whatever it is that can help you the most, set it as a goal, make a plan to achieve it, and go to work on your plan immediately. Remember the wonderful words of Goethe: “Only engage, and the mind grows heated. Begin it, and the work will be completed.”
There are no revisions for this post.