What I’ve Learned From Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog!
I love getting up early and getting time to read something for personal or professional development, organise my day, take breakfast and get out for 90 minutes with my dogs, all before 8.30 am.
During lockdown, I lost some of that discipline. I found that as I was not going out in the evenings or at weekends, I just spread my workday out. Keen to ensure 2020 ended on a high, I am re-establishing those habits and redressing the balance of work and personal life.
A chance exchange with Darren Smith on LinkedIn reminded me of a great book Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy, all about getting the most important, most impactful activities done and having time for wellness and a dynamic personal life.
What’s It All About?
Start your day by tackling the most challenging task on your to-do list, which will have the most positive influence on how you and your business perform. You won’t just achieve things faster, and always have the most impact, but the endorphins from ‘getting it done’ will release and propel you forward into the next task too.
How to Eat That Frog!
Just like ‘eating an elephant one bite at a time’, Brian Tracy encourages you to tackle it all methodically:
- Be really specific about your goals.
- Schedule your day (the night before, so you go to sleep and your subconscious works on the plan).
- Apply the 80:20 rule to everything and focus on the 20%.
- You can never find time for everything, so focus on the few things that will have a significant impact.
- Identify the 3 things in your work that account for 90% of your contribution, focus on doing them first.
- Prepare well, and make sure your work environment is clean, tidy and gives you the best chance of being focused and successful (particularly important as so many are working from home).
- Always be open to learning and improving your skills, see everything as an opportunity to learn and improve.
- Identify what you do best, and really invest in becoming ‘The Best ‘at those things.
- Put pressure on yourself to work hard, focus to complete your main tasks on time or ahead of schedule.
- Prioritise sleep and eating well.
- Calculate the time of the day that you are most productive, save that time for your most important work.
- Motivate yourself. You are a leader, not a follower. You don’t need to wait to be motivated, you can do things well, whether you feel motivated or not.
Make Technology Work for You
Block out time in your diary every day for those key tasks. Disallow all the notifications – visual and auditory – that your computer does every day.
Only do one thing at a time. Don’t move between tasks. Finish the most important one, then move on to the next most important. Practice makes perfect so keep applying these principles until they become second nature to you.
Hold yourself accountable for getting the key tasks done ahead of schedule. Most importantly, don’t let your focus waver.