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Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
Date: Jun 24, 2020
If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first
When I left the corporate world and joined Helen at Troy Accounting, I started to see the phrase “eat the frog” over the social media groups I was now following, and from people I was networking with. Honestly? I thought it sounded pretty disgusting in the first instance!! But then became curious about what everyone meant… When I looked it up online, Brian Tracy’s book “Eat That Frog” popped up so it was a no-brainer to read it!
And I’m glad I did….
Its premise is to tackle one of the biggest curses in our modern day living – that of procrastination! I was good at it!! And perhaps still am to an extent, but am getting better having taken on board Brain Tracy’s practical suggestions and thoughts around how to beat it…
One of the key tips I’ve personally taken away from the book, is the assessment of all the things on my ever-expanding to-do list and putting them into the order of priority using the “ABCDE method”. This ranges from “must-do” being A to “eliminate altogether” being E. And the way to assess and prioritise these is by looking at the highest value activities.
- What things can I do that can’t be delegated and if I do them, will they make a real difference?
- What is the most valuable thing I can be doing with my time right now??
Brian uses the 80/20 method for assessing tasks and activities, where the top 20% are tasks that are high priority and important and the lower 80% are low value. So always check that the task you’re looking at doing is in the top slice because then you know it’s worth doing.
It’s so easy to procrastinate over the lower value activities in the bottom 80%, but do they really contribute to the success of the business? Do all those emails that come in need to be jumped on and replied to straightaway, or could you perhaps have periods where you’re not checking your emails as they could be a distraction stopping you from achieving what you need to… At the end of the day, the low value tasks continuously multiply and you’ll never cross them all off your list so stop worrying about them!! As Brian says, “just say no”!!
The book is more to me than just tackling procrastination though. It’s about goals and clarifying what you really want, it’s about planning and it’s about new ways of thinking. Tracy talks about forming habits around decision making, discipline and determination, which is where the concept of eating the frog comes in. Always start the day with the ugliest, biggest frog there is – the hardest, largest, and most important task on your list – and just get it done!! Do it before you log into emails, look at social media or do some other low value activity. Do it quickly and do it well….
So, what am I doing differently as a result of reading the book?
- I plan every day for the next day, making a list of what I need to do the next day with my biggest, ugliest frog at the top of the list!
- I have different lists for everything – a master list of everything, monthly / weekly & daily lists so I can focus on the longer versus shorter term tasks and goals
- I use the 80/20 concept to assess all the tasks on the lists, and then use the ABCDE method to prioritise even further
- I’m focused on my 3 most important goals and how all of the above, will help me to achieve them…
It’s a fab book so get reading if you need help to beat procrastination and to get focused!!