Stop Procrastinating Now
Whatever it is you have to do – do it right now!!! Action separates the winners from losers and procrastination is one of the worst diseases in the world.
Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog” is jam packed full of powerful, timeless success tips to avoid procrastination and it has become a staple on my bookshelf.
THE FIRST RULE OF FROG EATING:
If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.
THE SECOND RULE OF FROG EATING:
If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.
Stop thinking about it and just get started on your toughest / most important things right away!
Here is a link if you’d like to learn more and buy a copy for your library, otherwise I hope you enjoy my notes below:
Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
Ask successful people what they were doing that enabled them to be more productive and earn more money.
The ability to concentrate single mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status, and happiness in life.
The key to success is action.
The ability to select the most important task at each moment, and then to get started on that task and to get it done both quickly an dwell, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop.
The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning.
The three key qualities needed to develop the habits of focus and concentration are decision, discipline, and determination.
Use the affirmation: “I get important jobs done quickly”
Eat That Frog
“There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it” Napoleon Hill
Clarity is perhaps the most important concept in personal productivity.
Rule for success: Think on paper
Only about 3% of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplish 5-10 times as much as people of equal or better education and ability.
The Seven Steps to Setting and Achieving Goals
- Decide exactly what you want
- Write it down
- Set a deadline on your goal; set subdeadlines if necessary
- Make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal.
- Organize the list into a plan
- Take action on your plan immediately
- Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein
Six P Formula – “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”
Always work from a list – it increases productivity and output by as much as 25% or more.
Create lists for each month, week, and day.
Create daily lists the night before because your subconscious mind will begin to work on solutions while you sleep – how cool?!
“We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
- 20% of activities account for 80% of results
- 20% of customers will account for 80% of sales
- 20% tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do
Importance of tasks is far more important than # of tasks. One item out of 10 maybe more important than all other nine put together. This is the “frog” you should eat first.
Resist the temptation to clear up small things first.
The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once in motion you will be naturally motivated to continue.
Time management = life management = personal management = controlling the sequence of events
The ability to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.
“Every great man has become great, every successful man has succeeded, in proportion as he has confined his powers to one particular channel.” Orison Swett Marden
The mark of the superior thinker is his or her ability to accurately predict the consequences of doing or not doing something.
50 years of research concluded, “long term perspective” is the single most accurate predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America.
Rule: Long-term thinking improves short-term decision making.
“What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?”
The more clear you are about your future intentions, the greater influence that clarity will have on what you do in the moment.
If a task or activity has large potential positive consequences, make it a top priority and get started on it immediately.
Keep in mind there is never enough time to do everything. Accept this as a universal truth. There is however, always enough time to do the most important things.
3 questions to maximize productivity:
- What are my highest value activities?
- What can I and only I do that if done well will make a real difference?
- What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” Goethe
Creative procrastination – You have to procrastinate on something. Therefore, procrastinate on small tasks. The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.
Rule: You can get your time and you life under control only to the degree to which you discontinue lower-value activities.
Continually ask yourself, “If I were not doing this already, knowing what I now know, would I start doing it again today?
ABCDE method of priority setting
A is defined as something that is important, that you must do.
B is defined as something you should do.
C is defined as something that would be nice to do
D is defined as something you can delegate to someone else.
E is defined as something you can eliminate and it won’t make any real difference
“When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously” Norman Vincent Peale
Ask yourself, “What results have you been hired to accomplish?”
Key Result areas are defined as something for which you are completely responsible for. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.
The key results areas of sales are:
- Prospecting and getting qualified appointments
- Building rapport and trust
- Identifying needs
- Presenting persuasively
- Answering objections
- Closing the sale
- Getting resales and referrals
Grade yourself in each of the key result areas. You weakest key result area sets the height at which you can use all your other skills and abilities.
“What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my career?”
The fastest and best ways to stop procrastinating and get more things done faster is for you to become absolutely excellent in your key results area.
Never stop improving. This decision alone can change your life.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
**90% of the value you add to your company is contained in 3 key tasks. Identify them. Concentrate on these 3 things single-mindedly all day long.
In 30 seconds write down you 3 most important goals. The mind goes into “hyperdrive” and the answers are as accurate as if you spent 30 minutes.
80% of people come up with a financial and career goal, a family or personal relationship goal, and a health or fitness goal.
- What are your three most important business or career goals?
- What are you three most important family or relationship goals right now?
- What are you three most important financial goals right now?
- What are your three most important health goals right now?
- What are you three most important personal and professional development goals right now?
- What are you three most important social and community goals right now?
- What are you three biggest problems or concerns in life right now?
Never forget that your ultimate goal is to live a long, happy, healthy life.
The main reason to develop time management skills is so that you can complete everything that is really important in your work and free up more and more time to do the things in your personal life that give you the greatest happiness and satisfaction.
Put your head down and work the entire time you’re “at work.”
Rule: It’s the quality of time at work that counts and the quantity of time at home that matters.
The reason for working efficiently is so that you can enjoy a higher quality of life at home with your family.
The more time you spend face to face with the people you love, the happier you will be.
“No matter what the level of your ability, you have more potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime” James McCay
The most productive people take the time to create a work area where they enjoy spending time.
Be prepared to fail over and over before you get right.
The only way to overcome you fear is as to “do the thing you fear.”
The cleaner and neater your work environment, the more positive, productive, and confident you feel.
“Personal with comparatively moderate powers will accomplish much, if they apply themselves wholly and indefatigably to one thing at a time.” Samuel Smiles
Select any goal, task, or project in your life on which you have been procrastinating and make a list of all the steps you will need to take to eventually complete task.
“The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be. “ Og Mandino
Upgrading your skills is one of the most important personal productivity principles of all.
Anytime you stop striving to get better, you’re bound to get worse.
Rule: Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.
Three Steps to Mastery:
- Read in your field for at least one hour every day
- Take every course and seminar available on the key skills that can help you
- Listen to audio programs in your car
“Do your work; not just your work and no more, but a little more for the lavishing’s sake – that little more which is worth all the rest” Dean Briggs
Do what you love to do.
Continually ask yourself: “What am I really good at?”
“Concentrate all your thoughts on the task at hand. They sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” Alexander Graham Bell
There is one major constraint that must be overcome before you can achieve that major goal. Identify it!
Identify your most important goal in life today. What is it?
What one goal, if you achieved it, would have the greatest positive effect on your life?
“The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.” Thomas Edison
The standards you set for you own work and behavior should be higher than anyone else could set for you.
Your self-esteem is the reputation you have with yourself.
If you had to leave town for a month, what would you make absolutely sure that you got done before you left? Whatever your answer, go to work on that task right now!
Write out every step of a major job or project before you begin.
One of the most important requirements for being happy and productive is for you to guard and nurture your energy levels at all times.
Sometimes the very best use of your time is to go home early and go to bed and sleep for ten hours straight.
Take one full day off every week.
Select one activity or behavior that you can change immediately to improve your overall level of health and energy.
“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and of creative action that man finds his supreme joys.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
It is not what happens to you but the way that you interpret the things that are happening to you that determines how you feel.
To keep yourself motivated, you must resolve to become a complete optimist!
A 22 year study at the University of Pennsylvania, found that Learned optimism is the most important quality you can develop for personal and professional success and happiness.
Optimists have 4 special behaviors:
- Look for the good in every situation
- Always seek the valuable lesson in every setback or difficulty
- Always look for the solution to every problem
- Think and talk continually about their goals
To stay calm, clearheaded, and capable of performing at your best, you need to detach on a regular basis from the technology and communication devices that can overwhelm you if you are not careful!
Treat technology as a servant, rather than as a master.
“The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocable, thought and act.” Orson Swett Marden
Salami Slice method: Lay out the task in detail and then resolve to do just one slice of the job for the time being.
Swiss cheese method: Resolve to work for a specific time period on it after which you will stop and do something else.
A common quality of high performance men and women is that when they hear a good idea, they take action on it immediately.
Break time periods up into 30, 60, 90 minute timeframes.
During these “work times” turn off the telephone, eliminate all distraction, and work non-stop.
The goal of time management is to deliberately and creatively organize the concentrated period you need to get your key jobs done well and on schedule.
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” Napoleon Hill
Momentum Principle: Although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going.
One simple way to get started is to repeat the words: “Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!”
Every great achievement of humankind has been preceded by a long period of hard, concentrated work until the job was done.
By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more.
Self discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.
By focusing clearly on your most valuable task and concentrating single-mindedly until it is 100% complete, you actually shape and mold your own character. You become a superior person.
21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Things Done Faster:
- Set the table: Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals and objectives before you begin.
- Plan everyday in advance. Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save your five or 10 minutes in execution.
- Apply the 80/20 rule to everything. 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top 20%.
- Consider the consequences. Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. Focus on these above all else.
- Practice creative procrastination: Since you can’t do everything, you must learn to deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value so that 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 of working on your most important activities.
- Focus on key results area: Identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to do you job well, and work on them all day long.
- The law of 3. Identify the 3 things you do in your work that account for 90% 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 material, 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 and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time
- Upgrade you key skills: The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and then sooner you get them done.
- Leverage your special talents. Determine exactly what it is that you are very good at doing, or could be very good at, and throw you whole heart into doing those specific things very, very well.
- Indentify you key constraints. Determine the bottleneck 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 have to leave town for a month, and work as if you had to get all you r major tasks completed before you left.
- Maximize your personal power. Identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day, and structure your most important and demanding tasks around these times. Get lots of rest so you can perform at your best.
- 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.
- Get out of the technological time sinks. Use technology to improve the quality of your communications, but do not allow yourself to become a salve to it. Learn to occasionally turn things off and leave them off.
- Slice and dice the task. Break large, complex tasks down into bite-sized pieces, and then do just one small part of the task to get started.
- Create large chunks of time. Organize your days around large blocks of time where 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 then work without stopping until the job is 100% completely. This is the real key to high performance and maximum personal productivity.
Hope you enjoyed my notes on Eat That Frog!
If you’d like a copy for your library here is the link: