Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy is a well written and easy to digest list of 21 tips to help you stop procrastinating and get more work done. This is a great guide for anyone who feels overwhelmed with work and doesn’t know where to start. Brian Tracy shares different methods for planning and prioritising, shows you how to identify the most important tasks and tips for keeping focused.
I have liked all the 21 tips. They really help avoiding procrastination and work better but I will only share with you 7 of them that I found are the main keys.
Set the table
In order to develop new habits and work on our dream life, there are three qualities you need to adopt. Those are decision, discipline, and determination. They are three of the critical qualities necessary to take on new habits. Decision is necessary in relation to completing tasks and seeing them through to the end. Discipline comes into play when you find yourself needing to repeat new habits over and over until they are automated. And finally determination is important in the introductory stages of any new habit. You need determination to drive the motivation to keep going until your habit becomes more natural.
Having clarity over goals and objectives is one of the most important tools when it comes to productivity. When you are clear on what your goals are, and what you need to do to achieve them, you will find yourself working faster and getting more done. Here are the 7 key steps you need to follow to achieve a sense of clarity and get more done:
- Decide what it is that you want
- Commit to that by writing it down
- Establish a deadline, and sub-deadlines for certain tasks
- Identify everything that is needed to be done in order to reach your goal and write it all down in a list
- Arrange your list into a clear plan, beginning with what needs to be addressed first.
- Start actioning your plan as soon as possible
- Commit to working on something every day to ensure you are doing everything you can to reach your goal
Plan in advance
Another tip is to plan in advance. You should plan every single day in advance. Never reach a day without knowing what you plan to get done. Being able to plan things will have a significant effect on your life, it means that you will never approach a day of the unknown, you’ll always understand what is expected of you and what you expect of yourself.
Consider the outcomes
Before you take on any task or activity, consider the potential outcomes and consequences of said task. This is what should help you determine the importance of the task.
Another thing you should consider is how you view your time. The book explains that anyone who has a long-term view of their life is likely to make significantly better decisions about how their time is spent and on what tasks. Those who have a narrow or shorter view of their life and career are likely to not make the best decisions. If you think about your future, 5, 10 or 20 years in the future, you’re likely to make choices and act in ways that will ensure you will reach your long-term goals. This will significantly increase your productivity and work output.
Tracy recommends practicing creative procrastination. This is the 5th tip. The reality is that you are unlikely to be able to get every single thing you need to do on any given day. You’ll need to let something go, and this is where Tracy recommends you procrastinate on the smaller tasks. The little bits and pieces that can be time wasters are often the tasks you can skip. If you choose to procrastinate your small, unimportant tasks you’ll find yourself more successful than if you choose to procrastinate on the important, value-adding tasks.
You need to determine your priorities. And along with that, Tracy explains you need to set posteriorities. While we all understand a priory, a posteriority is defined as lower-value activities that you do less of, later, and sometimes you don’t do it at all. Understand what tasks are priorities and what ones are posteriorities.
Technology is a terrible master
Although we struggle to remember a life before technology and can’t imagine what we’d do without it, technology can be a real time waster. The new era of the internet has provided us with the ability to be constantly communicating or accessing information. Personal or business related. It’s become an impending distraction that Tracy identifies as problematic.
Tracy explains that even though you have the ability to remain in constant contact and to be constantly connected, this isn’t essential. It’s actually extremely beneficial to disconnect regularly from all of your devices, otherwise. This is also an increasing problem when it comes to work, being constantly accessible means that distraction arises more regularly than ever.
Use the ABCDE method regularly
The ABCDE method is one way you can set your priorities daily. It’s a simple method that has the potential to save you time and increase your productivity tenfold. So how do you do it?
- Begin with a list of all of your daily tasks.
- Label each task with an A, B, C, D or E.
- A = the most important task, something that HAS to be done today. And there can be more than 1 A task, but again, prioritise these as A1, A2, A3 etc. A1 being the single most important.
- Tasks labeled B, C, D, or E are there to be dealt with only once all A tasks are completed. These tasks are not your priority. They get done once your priorities have been fully addressed.