In his book, Eat that Frog! Brian Tracy exhorts us to determine our most important goal and take care of that first. To achieve this, he lists “21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more things done faster.”
- Set the table: Decide exactly what you want. Write down your goals and objectives, clarity is essential.
- Plan every day in advance: Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save you five to ten in execution.
- Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything: Twenty percent of your activities account for 80 percent of your results. Concentrate your efforts on that top 20 percent.
- Consider the consequences: Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life and work. Focus on these above all else.
- Practice creative procrastination: You can’t do everything, so learn to deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value, so you have enough time to do the few things that really count.
- Use 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 to concentrate on your most important activities.
- Focus on key result areas: Identify those results that you absolutely, must have to do your job well and devote your time to them all day long.
- Apply the Law of Three: Identify the three things you do in your work that account for 90 percent of your contribution and focus on getting them done before anything else. You will then have more time for your family and personal life.
- Prepare thoroughly before you begin: Have everything you need at hand before you start. Assemble all the papers, information, tools, work materials, and numbers you might require so that you can get started and keep going.
- Take it one oil barrel at a time: You can accomplish the biggest, most complicated job if you complete it one step at a time.
- Upgrade your skills: 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. The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done.
- Identify your key constraints: Determine the bottlenecks or choke points, internal or external, that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals and focus on alleviating them.
- Put the pressure on yourself: Imagine that you must leave town for a month and work as if you have to get your major task completed before you leave.
- 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.
- Technology is a terrible master: Take back your time from enslaving technological addictions. Learn to turn off unnecessary devices and leave them off.
- Technology is a wonderful servant: Use your technological tools to confront yourself with what is most important and protect yourself from what is least important.
- Focus your attention: Eliminate the interruptions and distractions that interfere with completing your most important tasks.
- Slice and dice the task: Break large complex tasks down into bite-sized pieces, and then get started with one small part.
- Create large chunks of time: Organize your days around large blocks of time so you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks.
- 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.
- Single handle every task: Set clear priorities, start immediately on your most important task, and work without stopping until the job is 100 percent complete. This is the real key to high performance and maximum personal productivity.
Make the decision to practice these principles every day until they become second nature to you. With these habits, your future success will be unlimited.
Just do it! Eat that frog!
The road is easier together,