From: Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy.
Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. Brian’s goal is to help people achieve their personal and business goals faster and easier than they ever imagined.
Putting It All Together
The key to happiness, satisfaction, great success and a wonderful feeling of personal power and effectiveness is for you to develop the habit of eating your frog, first thing every day when you start work.
Fortunately, this is a learnable skill that you can acquire through repetition. And when you develop the habit of starting on your most important task, before anything else, your success is assured.
Here is a summary of the 21 Great Ways to stop procrastinating and get more things done faster. Review these rules and principles regularly until they become firmly ingrained in your thinking and actions and your future will be guaranteed.
1. Set the table: Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals and objectives before you begin;
2. Plan every day in advance: Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save you five or ten minutes in execution;
3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything: Twenty percent of your activities will account for eighty percent of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top twenty percent;
4. Consider the consequences: Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. Focus on these above all else;
5. Practice the ABCDE Method continually: Before you begin work on a list of tasks, take a few moments to organize them by value and priority so you can be sure of working on your most important activities:
6. Focus on key result areas: Identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to do your job well, and work on them all day long;
7. The Law of Forced Efficiency: There is never enough time to do everything but there is always enough time to do the most important things. What are they?
8. Prepare thoroughly before you begin: Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance;
9. Do your homework: The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done;
10. Leverage your special talents: Determine exactly what it is that you are very good at doing, or could be very good at, and throw your whole heart into doing those specific things very, very well:
11. Identify your key constraints: Determine the bottlenecks or choke-points, internally or externally, that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals and focus on alleviating them;
12. Take it one oil barrel at a time: You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time;
13. Put the pressure on yourself: Imagine that you have to leave town for a month and work as if you had to get all your major tasks completed before you left;
14. Maximize your personal powers: Identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day and structure your most important and demanding tasks around these times. Get lots of rest so you can perform at your best;
15. Motivate yourself into action: Be your own cheerleader. Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the solution rather than the problem. Always be optimistic and constructive;
16. Practice creative procrastination: Since you can’t do everything, you must learn to deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value so that you have enough time to do the few things that really count;
17. Do the most difficult task first: Begin each day with your most difficult task, the one task that can make the greatest contribution to yourself and your work, and resolve to stay at it until it is complete:
18. Slice and dice the task: Break large, complex tasks down into bite sized pieces and then just do one small part of the task to get started;
19. Create large chunks of time: Organize your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks;
20. Develop a sense of urgency: Make a habit of moving fast on your key tasks. Become known as a person who does things quickly and well;
21. Single handle every task: Set clear priorities, start immediately on your most important task and then work without stopping until the job is 100% complete. This is the real key to high performance and maximum personal productivity.
Make a decision to practice these principles every day until they become second nature to you. With these habits of personal management as a permanent part of your personality, your future will be unlimited.
Just do it!
Eat that frog!
Brian Tracy has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the US, Canada and 55 other countries worldwide. As a Keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year.