The following is based on the book “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy
You’ll never get caught up or get ahead on everything you have to do, author Brian Tracy contends in Eat That Frog.
There isn’t enough time in the day to meet all of the work and personal responsibilities you’re swamped with, let alone keep up with email, social media, projects, and all the books and articles you’ve been meaning to read.
Relying on productivity tools isn’t the answer because no matter how much time you save, there are more than enough incoming tasks to fill it.
The only way to take charge of your time is to ignore most things—instead, focus on your most important task first and do it quickly and well.
Mark Twain’s metaphor for getting hard things done is to eat a live frog.
If you have to eat a live frog, do it right away, and everything after that will be easier by comparison.
Using the following practical tips, you can improve your productivity and be happier immediately.
Make It a Habit
To succeed, you must develop success habits, such as overcoming procrastination and focusing on your most important tasks.
Doing hard tasks successfully creates a positive feedback loop, and you can get addicted to these feelings of self-confidence and capability.
How to Get Things Done
Tracy’s favourite strategies for improving your productivity by focusing on the most important thing are as follows:
1. Clarify your goals and write them down.
2. Create work-life balance:
- Determine the three things you do at work that account for most of the value you contribute.
- Focus each day on completing the most important things at work so you have time to do what brings you happiness and satisfaction in your personal life. Your goal should be to do your best at work while not losing sight of the reasons you’re working: to have strong relationships and a satisfying life.
3. Identify the key areas of your business where you expect to deliver results, grade yourself on each area on a scale of 1-10, and develop a plan for excelling in all areas.
4. Identify your biggest limitation, whether it’s external or internal to your business or even personal.
- Remove it to significantly speed up your progress.
5. Continually upgrade your skills to increase your value and productivity.
- With the rapid advance of ai technology, personal and relationship-building skills are more important than ever.
6. Plan each day’s priorities & tasks, work from a list, and focus on doing the few things that make the most difference.
- Doing the two most important things will have a greater impact than doing the other eight combined.
7. Live by the 80/20 rule: 20% of your efforts will produce 80% of your results – network-building should be at the top of that list if you are looking for long-term success.
8. Weigh the consequences.
- The most important thing you can do is the one with the biggest consequences or greatest impact.
9. Be a creative procrastinator.
- Since you can’t do everything, you have to put off or eliminate something.
- Purposefully procrastinate on small things—for instance, answering non-urgent emails—so you can get the important things done.
10. Prioritize your to-do list:
- Must do
- Should do
- Would be nice to do
11. Be fully prepared.
- Before you sit down to begin an important task, ensure you have everything you’ll need in front of you so you’re not distracted by looking for things later.
12. Eat the elephant bit by bite
- Make a big job doable by breaking it into smaller steps and focusing on one step at a time.
13. Motivate yourself
- Use your inner voice to encourage and urge you to excel; push yourself to complete your most important tasks; approach your work with a sense of urgency.
14. Make technology work for you
- There are so many great apps that will help you become more organised, more automated, more efficient, less stressed. It’s definitely worth consistently investing time to find better ways.
15. Stay focused:
- Block out two sustained 90-minute periods each morning to work on your most important task.
- Eliminate interruptions and don’t multitask.