Monday, April 17, 2017

Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time 3rd Edition By Brian Tracy

I have been on a personal crusade to be more efficient and beat the monster called procrastination. It’s so easy to put projects off when I feel that I have time but just don’t feel like working on them. I’ve been trying mini habits to build up my commitments and bullet journaling to get myself primed for action. I am an advocate that there is no sure way for planning success and that everyone needs to find what works best.

Years ago, I read Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog! I used several of his suggestions to avoid procrastination and to motivate myself back on track. The problem is that I fell off and needed a refresher. Brian just released the 3rd edition of Eat That Frog! With enhanced chapters highlighting the good and ugly of technology. I enjoyed the book, even more, this time because I had tried more motivational tricks and tips over the years and no one gives sound advice better than Brian Tracy. Eat That Frog! Gobbles up any other resource on procrastination or goal setting in the market.  I encourage you to return to the 21 time tried suggestions for becoming a better you to meet surpass goals and scare the procrastination monster away.

I admire Brian’s analogy of the frog on the outset of his book. He likens your “frog” to your biggest and most critical task that you need to accomplish. It’s also the goal that you are most likely to procrastinate about and put on the back burner.  Brian eloquently says that "It has been said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that it is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long”. Very powerful isn’t it? We all have a weight off of our shoulders when we can throw off the one thing that prevents us from enjoying life and bringing key results.

We need to commit to ranking our core objectives and tackling them first. Don't complete the smaller tasks on your daily list just to have a feel good moment. You will only set yourself up for additional stress when your biggest task monster stares down at you. Always have clarity about what you want and make lists of categorized goals so that you can rank them and eat the biggest frogs first thing every morning.

Setting and achieving goals is a process and won't happen overnight. You need to build new routines and habits to maintain structure and guide you. Brian shows us the 3 "D's" of new habits to jumpstart our journey. They include the decision, discipline, and determination.  Once these behaviors are ingrained, we can start to visualize where we want to be and stop procrastinating on what is hindering our success.

Successful people know that they can’t focus on everything at once. Goals need to be ranked, and some may never even be touched. They are often "filler" goals that can be delegated or deleted off the list. We should focus on the goals that will give us the biggest bang for our buck and will have a meaningful impact on our lives. This process makes us more productive and leaves us more time for the precious areas of our lives. Too often people think that getting things done equals productivity and instead they are just busy bees flitting around accomplishing little. We need to zero in on what is critical and push for productivity with intent.

Brian offers 21 intriguing ideas in separate chapters to improve your productivity and kick procrastination aside. Each idea is recapped so that you can immediately implement it. We all have unique methods of organizing and approaching goals, so I love the many options that Brian introduces us to. You may want to pick one tactic a week to focus on until it's a habit or be more flexible in how you choose. Time management is your personal system and having flexibility is the key to success.

Last, Brian shares the good and ugly of technology. Being wired in all day real time is a blessing because we can feasibly do our job from anywhere and we have so many tools to choose. Conversely, technology can control us and drive procrastination or encourage poor habits. Use technology wisely and to your advantage. Don't allow it to consume you.

Eat That Frog! Is one book that I have marked up and highlighted to aid me in fighting procrastination and to use my time more wisely. In the past, I have listed my goals but conveniently started with the tadpoles first because they are easy.   I convinced myself that I'm hacking away at the list and being productive. Now, I'm eating frogs every morning and enjoying it!

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