Updated: May 13, 2021
Do you ever find yourself procrastinating on doing that one thing that you know really needs to be done, but for whatever reason, it just seems to be your nemesis? Well my friend, that just means that it is time for you to learn to Eat the Frog.
Now I'm sure like me that is probably the most unappetizing thing that you could start your day off thinking about but I'm not really talking about literally eating a frog unless you're into that kind of thing, which is fine, What I'm talking about is Mark Twains' solution to procrastination which the great Brian Tracy turned into the book "Eat that Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastination and Get More Done in Less Time."
Mark Twain was quoted as saying "if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat the frog, then you can continue your day with the satisfaction of knowing that this is probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day." So how does this apply to our lives?
What is that thing that you know that you should be doing, or the project that really needs to be done? It could be the morning workout, sending an email, or having a difficult conversation with someone. Eating the frog just means that you do this task first thing in your day. Let it be the first thing that you do because after you do this thing that you've been pushing off, then everything else will be more enjoyable.
Let me use myself as an example. Right now I am in the midst of planning a Virtual Workshop in November. This is completely new territory for me, the virtual part, so I find it to at times be almost paralyzing because I allow my blind spots to overwhelm me. One of the most difficult parts is contacting speakers to enquire to see if they would be interested. For me, contacting some people almost feels like chasing the Unicorn. I let me Itty Bitty Shitty Committee creep in telling me all kinds of messages about not being worthy, the event not being important enough (even though it's super important to me), or that I'm wasting their time by bothering them.
Like the broken record that we all have, these messages can keep replaying over and over until we turn down the volume. So how do we do that? We do it by taking action and Eating that Frog. So last week, I decided that I was going to get up first thing in the morning and send an email to one of my Unicorns. I would do it even though I was half asleep because that would give me the jump on my Lizard Brain that was going to start giving me all the reasons why I shouldn't approach them. So I threw together an email, wrote with my heart, and hit SEND! It was terrifying, but you know what? It felt so go to know that no matter what the outcome, I could check that thing off of my list of things to do.
In his book Eat the Frog, Brian Tracy has a four-part combination of how you can not only overcome the habit of procrastination but become more productive as well. It is a simple procedure that you can just repeat for every task.
Select your most important task, in other words, choose your frog. If you have two frogs, then pick the ugliest one first.
Begin to work on it immediately. Don't give yourself the time or space to think of reasons why you shouldn't do it, because you will draft a list in no time.
Work on it Singlehandedly. What he means is that you must devote all of your attention to completing this task. Now is not the time to attempt to multitask but you will undoubtedly end up moving away from the Frog to the easier task.
Finish it. No excuses. Work until that Frog has been completed. If you give your mind that option of quitting when you are almost done, then chances are you will stop and may not come back to finish it until who knows when.
If you can Master the Art of Doing the tasks that are the hardest, or the ones that you least want to do then you will find that your time is actually spent more on doing the things that you want to do, and that are more enjoyable. You will be spending less time thinking of ways you can avoid the work because the hard work will already be done.
So getting back to that email that I sent. I got a reply back from my Unicorn and they let me know that they would be honoured to participate in the Workshop. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I broke down in tears, but I also had a very valuable lesson reinforced. If I never would have made the decision to Eat that damn Frog that morning, I never would have sent that email, and both I and my Unicorn would have missed out on an amazing opportunity.
So as I finish eating this frog (writing this blog) which I will admit I allowed to hop away from me last week because I procrastinated, I am getting ready to Eat another Frog and send another email to a Unicorn. No matter the outcome that Frog will be finished and I can move on to the other more enjoyable tasks of the day.
I hope you enjoyed today's blog and found it ribbeting, LOL. ( Sorry I had to get one frog pun in there somehow.) If you are interested in finding out more information about the Virtual Workshop in November be sure and hop on over to Facebook and check out our Ignite Your Life page. We will have our speaker info and ticket info available soon.