Stop procrastinating and eat up now

frogIf 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. Mark Twain. [1]

Procrastination is something which can strike us all, particularly when we have many things to do, it is easy to focus on the trivial and easy tasks and avoid tackling the bigger ones. Small tasks are often easy to pick off. However, many small tasks collectively take up the much needed time required to undertake the bigger, less pleasant tasks.

Clearly Mark Twain intends, that the frog symbolise the hardest, least appetising part of your job. Brian Tracy has taken this quote and used it in his writings to illustrate how to; avoid procrastination, identify and prioritise the important and, avoid the unnecessary.

Twain also points out, that if you eat the biggest ugliest frog first,  then you will likely find that nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

Everybody has the same amount of time in the day, yet we don’t all achieve the same amount each day. We often leave our important tasks to last and often they remain not done for quite some time; perhaps we hope that they will no longer be required by the time we get to them. There is an ever increasing number of small tasks which we can do to prevent us from tackling doing the hard or difficult things. Small things consume the time required to tackle the big things. I like the following Tracy quote

“Everyone procrastinates. The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.”

It may not be possible to do everything that is on our to-do list, wish list or task list, we need to distinguish between what is most important and decline tasks or stop doing things of lower value in order to be able to do these high-value, high impact items. Of course that is not to say that  small or pleasant tasks are never  worthwhile. However, human nature dictates we pick the pleasant and the easy, over the more difficult.

Goethe the German philosopher said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.”

Of course there is more to time management and Brian Tracy’s writings than can be represented here, my intention is to point you in the direction to find out more, if you are interested. You might like to try reading this  excellent and quick summary  of the main points of Eat That Frog.

Not everyone will appreciate Mr Tracy’s style, but he is readable and makes some excellent, well illustrated points. Why not try  Brian’s own free summary from his website [3] which will give you a good indication of style and  the contents of the rest of his books. Bon appetit.

[1] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marktwain414009.html#uOxHu4RW8iWPHIU9.99

[2] http://www.actnow.ie/files/BookSummaryEatThatFrog.pdf

[3] http://www.briantracy.com/freegifts/etftranscript.pdf

Posted in Concentration, Concepts, Distraction, Focus, Time Management | 2 Comments

2 Responses to “Stop procrastinating and eat up now”

  1. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

    • Lyn Waddington says:

      Thank you. Hope you enjoys your frogs. I have been quiet lately: I have been busier than usual. I am planning an article about how to use outlook tasks to collaborate with others to get things done.

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