• Tired of Your Task List Managing You? It’s Time to Eat the Frog

    Does your task list overwhelm you?
    Are new tasks added to your to-do list faster than you can complete them?
    Do you feel like your goals are being pushed aside because you are too focused on task completion?

    Relax and take a deep breath because you are not alone. The good news is that once you learn how to get organized, tackling your to-do list will become easier and your feelings of frustration will be replaced with feelings of satisfaction.

    I recently read a book called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. I quickly learned some valuable lessons on how to get and stay organized. Eat That Frog is not a book about organizing your desk drawer. It explains the psychology of getting organized and what disorganization does to our mind, body and spirit.

    What is Your Frog?

    Your frog is defined as being your biggest and most important task that you need to accomplish. Staring at the frog for too long leads to procrastination. The longer you procrastinate, the more you panic. It’s time to stop panicking and get rid of the frog. Prioritizing your tasks and tackling the ugliest frog early in the day leads to a day filled with high hopes and positive outcomes. Now that you have identified your frog, it’s time to eat the frog.

    Rules for Frog Eating

    Rule #1: If you have two frogs to eat, eat the ugliest one first.

    Have you ever had a day where you felt unsatisfied and felt like you did not accomplish anything even though you stayed busy and finished most of your to-list? You most likely feel unsatisfied and frustrated because you did not prioritize and work on defeating your most challenging task.

    The bigger the accomplishment, the greater the satisfaction.

    Rule #2: If you have to eat a live frog… hurry up and get it over with.

    The longer you stare at the frog the bigger and more daunting the frog gets. I am guilty of spending too much time planning out a task rather than actually doing a task. Over-planning can easily become procrastinating.

    For example, if you run a printing business and your main printer is acting up, the problem will only get worse if you procrastinate. Eat the ugly frog before the printer completely breaks down and halts your business. Take action before your issue get too big and too costly to manage.

    Don’t overthink, just do it!

    Discipline is Key

    Have you ever wondered why certain people in the workplace get promoted faster or why they get bigger raises? Eat the Frog discusses a case study designed to understand why certain people were more successful than others. The habit that successful people have in common is consistent behavior. Staying organized and on task requires discipline and leads to consistent productivity.

    Failure to execute is one of the biggest problems in organizations today. –Brian Tracy

    Habits of Success

    Repetition and practice help lock tasks into your subconscious. Eventually you’re subconscious takes over and becomes effortless permanent behavior. For example, how current is your bookkeeping? Do you wait until the end of the quarter or even worse, the end of the year to update your books? Once you learn to eat the ugly bookkeeping frog, each month will get easier, less time consuming and provide an accurate snapshot of how your business is doing financially.

    Living a procrastinating life:
    • Procrastination leads to rushing through the task
    • Rushing through a task leads to mistakes
    • Mistakes cost you time and money
    Living a disciplined life:
    • Being disciplined helps you prioritizing tasks
    • Accomplishing tasks based on priority keeps you organized
    • Staying organized leads to a less stress and success

    Why does it feel good to check something off your to-do list? When you mark something off of your to-do list, your brain releases feel good endorphins making you feel more confident and happy.

    Completing a task feels good, make it a habit to feel good!

    Practice makes perfect; there’s a story about a man who stopped a musician on the streets of New York and asked “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” and the musician replied, “Practice, man, practice”. We often want results immediately and don’t consider the fact that we have to practice and form positive habits before we see results.

    Your mind is a muscle that needs flexing and practice.

    Challenge the Frog

    Ask yourself:

    • What do I want?
    • What are my goals?
    • What would it take to make me feel successful?

    Now, I want you to visualize yourself as the person you want to be. Take this exercise seriously because a mental picture is a powerful tool. For each frog you encounter, visualize the steps it will take to eat it. Utilizing visualization tools is a powerful habit that will lead to success.

    Focus on the rewards and benefits of being a person that takes action.

    Let me challenge you, take out a clean sheet of paper and make a list of five goals you want to accomplish before year end. Practice prioritizing your tasks until you know what works in order to accomplish your goals.

    Angie LeBlanc Integrative Health Coach

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