Eat that Frog!
21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done
in Less Time
by Brian Tracy
- If you have to eat two frogs, eat the
ugliest one first.
- If you have to eat a live frog, it
doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.
Take action immediately
Develop the Habits of Success (starting and finishing
- Completing an important task triggers
the release of endorphins, and makes you feel happier, positive and more confident.
Practice is the Key to Mastering Any Skill
- With practice, you can learn any
behavior or develop any habit.
The Three Ds of New Habit Formation
develop the task of habit completion
practice the principles in this book over and over
to do it until the habit is locked in and becomes a permanent part of your
Visualize Yourself as You Want to Be
1. Set the Table
(think on paper – written goals are powerful)
- 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
- Organize the list into a plan
- Take action on your plan
- Resolve to do something every
single day that moves you toward your major goal.
Make a list of 10 goals you want to accomplish
in the next year.
Review your list of 10 goals and select the one
goal that if you achieve it, would have the greatest positive impact on your
life. Whatever the goal is write it on a
separate sheet of paper, set a deadline, make a plan, take action, and do
something every single day that moves you toward that goal.
2. Plan Every Day in
today to plan every day, week, month in advance. Make a list of everything you have to do
in the next 24 hours. Add to list as new items come up. Make a list of all
your projects, and big multitask jobs thar are important to your future.
out each of your major goals, tasks, projects, by priority and by sequence.
on paper. Always work from a list. It makes it easier to eat the frog.
3. Apply the 80/20
Rule to Everything
a list of all the key goals, activities, projects and responsibilities in
your life today. Which of them are
in the top 10 or 20 percent of tasks that represent 80 or 90% of your
today to spend more of your time working on those areas that really make a
difference in you life and career and less on lower value activities.
4. Consider the
your lists of tasks, activities, and projects regularly, asking “Which one
project or activity, if I did it in an excellent and timely fashion, would
have the greatest positive consequences in my work or personal life.
the most important thing you could be doing every hour of every day, and
then discipline yourself to work continually on it. Whatever it is that can help you the
most, set it as a goal, make a plan to achieve it, and go to work on your
5. Practice Creative
You can control your time and your life only if
you discontinue lower-value activities. If it is not something you would start
again today, knowing what you know now, abandon it or put it off.
Select at least one activity to abandon
immediately, or at least deliberately put off until your more important goals
have been achieved.
6. Use the ABCDE
Think on paper - start with a list of
everything you have to do for the coming day
A - 1,2,3 something very important, you
B - should do
C - nice to doD-tasks you can delegate
E-tasks you can eliminate (something you
do out of habit or something you enjoy)
but every minute you spend on it is a
minute not spent on a task or activity that can make a real difference
your work list right now and put an A, B, C, D, or E next to each task or
activity. Select your A-1 job or
project and begin on it immediately. Discipline yourself to do nothing
else until this one job is complete.
the ABCDE Method every day for the next month on every work or project
list before you begin work. After a
month, you will have developed the habit of setting and working on your
highest priority tasks, and your future will be assured.
7. Focus on Key
of the major reasons for procrastination in the workplace is that people
avoid activities where they performed poorly in the past. Conversely, the
better you become in an area, the less you procrastinate.
the key result areas of your work. Write down the key results you have to
get to do your job in an excellent fashion. Giver yourself a grade from one to ten
on each one. And then determine the
one key skill that, if you did it in an excellent manner, would help you
the most in your work.
the list to your boss and discuss it with him or her. Discuss your results with your coworkers
and your spouse.
a habit of doing this analysis regularly for the rest of your career. Never stop improving. This decision alone can change your
8. Apply the Law of
the three most important tasks that you do in your work. “which tasks would contribute the
greateset value to my career?” Once you have identified your “big three,”
concentrate on them single-mindedly all day long.
your three most important goals in each area of your life. Organize them
by priority. Make plans for their accomplishment, and work on your plans
every single day. You will be amazed at what you achieve in the months and
9. Prepare Thoroughly
before you Begin
a look at your desk or office. Ask
yourself “What kind of a person works in an environment like that?” The cleaner and neater your environment,
the more positive, productive you will feel.
today to clean up your desk and office completely.
10. Take it One Oil
Barrel at a Time
any goal, task, or project on which you have been procrastinating and make
a list of all the steps you will need to take to complete the task.
take just one step immediately. And then do one more, and so on.
11. Upgrade Your Key
a lifelong student of your craft. School is never out for the
key skills that can help you the most to achieve better and faster
results. Determine the core
competencies that you will need to have in the future to lead your
field. Whatever they are, set a goal,
make plan, and begin developing and
increasing your ability in those areas.
Decide to be the very best at what you do!
12. Leverage Your
ask yourself these key questions: “What am I really good at? What do I
enjoy the most about my work? What
has been responsible for my success in the past? If I could do any job at all, what job
would it be?”
a personal plan to prepare yourself to do your most important task in an
excellent fashion. Focus on those
areas where you have special talents and that you most enjoy. This is the key to unlocking your
13. Identify Your Key
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? What one career
accomplishment would have the greatest impact on your work life?
the one constraint, internal or external, that sets the speed at which you
accomplish this goal. “Why haven’t I reached it already? What is it in me that is holding me
back?” Whatever your answers, take
action immediately. Do
something. Do anything, but get
14. Put the Pressure on
deadlines and subdeadlines on every task and activity. Create your own “forcing system.” Once
you’ve set a deadline, stick to it and try to beat it.
out every step of a major job or project before you begin. Determine how many minutes and hours you
will require to complete each phase.
Then race against your own clock.
Make it a game and resolve to win!
15. Maximize Your
today to improve your levels of health and energy by asking the following
- What am I doing physically that I
should be doing more of?
- What am I doing that I should be
doing less of?
- What am I not doing that I should start
doing if I want to perform at my best?
- What am I doing today that affects
my health that I should stop doing altogether?
one activity or behavior that you can change immediately to improve your
overall levels of health and energy.
Practice that one action over and over until it becomes a
habit. Then select a second way to
improve and begin on that.
your answers are to the above questions, take action today.
16. Motivate Yourself
your thoughts. You become what you
think about most of the time. Be sure you are thinking and talking about
the things you want.
your mind positive. Accept complete
responsibility for yourself and everything that happens to you. Refuse to criticize others, complain, or
blame others for anything. Keep your thoughts and energy focused forward
on what you can do right now to improve your life, and let the rest go.
17. Get Out of the
Technological Time Sinks
a zone of silence for one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon.
one full day off each week during which you do not touch your computer.
18. Slice and Dice
Salami Slice method - slice a big task
into tiny slices that you can accomplish. You feel happier and more powerful
when you start and complete a task of any kind
Swiss Cheese method - resolve to work for
a specific period of time on it even 5 or ten minutes.
Take action on a good idea immediately. Don’t delay. Try it today!
19. Create Large
Chunks of Time
Schedule blocks of time by planning your day in
Set aside a specific time for a specific task
Get up early and work at home in the morning for
Think of different ways to save, schedule and
consolidate large chunks of time. Use these times to work on important tasks
with the most significant long-term consequences.
Make every minute count. Work steadily and
continuously without diversion or distraction by planning and preparing your
work in advance.
20. Develop a Sense
today to develop a sense of urgency in everything you do. Select one area where you have a
tendency to procrastinate and make a decision to develop the habit of fast
action in that area.
you see an opportunity or problem, take action on it immediately. When you are give a task, take care of
it quickly and report back fast.
Move rapidly and you will be amazed at how much better you feel and
how much more you get done.
21. Single Handle
discipline is the key
action! Resolve today to select the most important task or project that
you could complete and then launch it immediately.
you start your most important task, discipline yourself to persevere
without diversion or distraction until 100 percent complete. Set it as a test to determine whether
you are the kind of person who can make a decision to complete something
and then carry it out. Once you
begin, refuse to stop until the job is finished.