Procrastination is a common problem we face, which harms not only our performance but also our self-confidence. Getting into the habit of procrastination would stop you from doing what is important and can be very destructive. Hence it is necessary to overcome this problem. And the self-help book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy can be a great help here.
This is an excellent book on productivity and time management. The book contains 21 steps that would help you stop procrastinating and get more from your limited time. In this article, I will share three lessons from Eat That Frog that I found very helpful. So, here we go…
Eat That Frog: 3 Key Lessons
1. Plan in advance
If you don’t plan your day, you will find it difficult to be productive and get more done. You may not remember what you have to do, or even if you do remember, you may procrastinate.
Hence this step tells you to plan by making a list of everything you have to do the next day, most probably before sleeping at night. It would be better to write it down on paper because writing creates a sense of importance. In addition, writing the activities makes it less likely for you to forget and more likely to get them done. This simple step would make your day organized and productive.
And you have to do it daily, identify what you have to do tomorrow, and make a list of those activities before sleeping at night. For example, my list looks something like this:
This is for 5th December 2021. I have written every major thing I have to do on that day. You would find small activities like learning two new words, making a diary entry, practicing touch typing, etc., and time-consuming activities like writing a blog post, writing for clients, reading books, etc.
2. Start from the most important
Most of the time, we complain that we don’t get enough time. We wish that if only we had more time, we would have changed everything. We blame everything on the shortage of time.
But the thing is, you will never have enough time to do everything. But you always have enough time to do what is the most important, what truly matters. So, you have to focus only on those important and meaningful things and let everything go. Because you can’t do everything, your time is limited; your energy is limited.
Now since the work is important and meaningful, most probably, it would be difficult. And you know morning is the best time for doing difficult jobs. So, do those important things early in the morning. It’s a powerful strategy. When you try to do the most important things early, you would easily accomplish them. And then, if there is any time left, you can go for the things which are not that important on your list.
Don’t try to do easy things in the morning. It would cause you to procrastinate on the difficult stuff. For example, just a few days ago, I was reading an interesting fiction book. And I was so much into it that I found myself reading it even in the morning. Once I did this, I couldn’t put it down, and I was reading the whole day, leaving every other work.
Reading is an easy task, and it’s not the most important for me. So, I had to control myself somehow. Actually, I did that only after I finished the book. Anyway, the point is, focus on the most important activities and do them early in the morning.
3. Remove the distractions
The next thing is, you need to focus your attention on what you do. In other words, you have to do deep work to get the most out of every minute. And it’s only possible if you work in a distraction-free environment.
The most common distraction is the phone. So, it would be better if you keep it silent or in flight mode. If you constantly get the urge to check your phone, you can keep it in another room until you complete your work, assuming your work doesn’t involve the phone. And don’t check your email or social media early in the morning.
You might think that checking your Instagram for messages, likes, or follows only takes a few seconds, so what is the harm in that. But the problem is not the time; the real problem is the attention. I learned this from The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris; that attention is just as important as your time.
Checking Instagram may only take 30 seconds, but your attention may remain there for hours. And then focusing your attention on your important work will be difficult, which will reduce your productivity. So, prepare yourself for deep work by eliminating all the distractions.
These are the three lessons from Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. I hope you found it helpful. Let me know in the comments if you have read any other book on productivity that you would suggest everyone to read. Also, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I talk about books. And, thanks for reading.