Bet you'd never have guessed that I am a master at the art of procrastination.
I've spent many years honing the ability to get things done with the least amount of effort possible and in the process, learned to put things aside until the last minute possible… especially those items that qualify as ‘hard (or harder) to do'.
Despite defined goals and deadlines, I can spend hours, days and weeks pursuing rather mindless tasks (email reading, site tweaking, Facebook, etc.), and then suddenly find myself ‘under the gun' to complete a project that I've not yet started.
Does that sound like you? Have you mastered procrastination? Are you ever-prepared with the ready explanation that you “work better under pressure”?
I used to believe that too, until a girlfriend alerted me to the ‘eat that frog!' concept.
There's an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.
Using “eat that frog” as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day – the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, but also probably the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life.
I've been discovering that it works like a charm. Especially now that it's summer, getting the ‘hard part' done and out of the way so the best part of the day is reserved for fun is a super incentive.
And so you too can enjoy more fun this summer, I've reprinted an excerpt from Brian Tracy's ‘Eat that Frog' below which includes a powerful 7-step formula for setting and achieving goals that you can use not only this summer but for the rest of your life.
You'll not only get more done faster, but you'll get the right things done.
Here is a great rule for success:
Think on paper.
Only about 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplish five or ten times as much as people of equal or better education and ability but who, for whatever reason, have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want.
There is a powerful formula for setting and achieving goals that you can use for the rest of your life. It consists of seven simple steps. Any of these steps can double and triple your productivity if you are not currently using it.
- Decide exactly what you want. Either decide for yourself or sit down with your boss and discuss your goals and objectives until you are crystal clear about what is expected of you and in what order of priority.
- Write it down. Think on paper. When you write down a goal, you crystallize it and give it a tangible form. You create something that you can touch and see. On the other hand, a goal or objective that is not in writing is merely a wish or a fantasy. It has no energy behind it.
- Set a deadline on your goal; set sub-deadlines if necessary. A goal or decision without a deadline has no urgency. It has no real beginning or end. Without a definite deadline, you will naturally procrastinate and get very little done.
- Make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. As you think of new activities, add them to your list. Keep building your list until it is complete. A list gives you a visual picture of the larger task or objective. It gives you a track to run on.
- Organize the list into a plan. Organize your list by priority and sequence. Take a few minutes to decide what you need to do first and what you can do later. With a written goal and an organized plan of action, you will be far more productive and efficient than people who are carrying their goals around in their minds.
- Take action on your plan immediately. Do something. Do anything. An average plan vigorously executed is far better than a brilliant plan on which nothing is done.
- Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal. Build this activity into your daily schedule. You may decide to read a specific number of pages on a key subject. You may call on a specific number of prospects or customers. You may engage in a specific period of physical exercise. Whatever it is, you must never miss a day.
Keep pushing forward. Once you start moving, keep moving. Don't stop. This decision, this discipline alone, can dramatically increase your speed of goal accomplishment and boost your personal productivity.
Eat That Frog! is a fast read that is rich in practical advice that will help you stop procrastinating and get more done in less time.
Eat That Frog shows you how to zero in on these critical tasks and organize your day.
You'll not only get more done faster, but get the right things done. In his trademark high-energy style, acclaimed speaker and best-selling author Brian Tracy cut to the core of what is vital to effective personal time management: decision, discipline, and determination. He details twenty-one practical and doable steps that will help you stop procrastinating and get more of the important tasks done- today!
Related: 7 Obstacles to Success
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