Eating your Frogs
Anna Roberts – Get Sorted
There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog you’ll be happy in the knowledge that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.
The subtitle of Brian Tracy’s book “Eat That Frog” is ’21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’ and it’s well worth a read.
The idea is that if you tackle the most challenging item on your To Do list – often the one you dread the most – it’s probably the one that will have the most positive impact on your life.
Reading it got me thinking that like many people in business, what I do is help people eat their frogs. In fact, I’m often a lot better at helping people eat their frogs than I am at eating my own. This is often the case.
A recurring theme among many of my clients is one room or an area of their house that is bringing them down – what I call a ‘guilty room’. There are no particular problems with the rest of the house and in their working life these people are often highly organised. But the guilty room has become the dumping ground.
Sometimes it’s their home office – piles of paperwork that they intend to get around to sorting – and all their systems have slipped because when more paperwork comes in they just add it to the pile.
“My heart sinks every time I pass that room/open the garage door/go into the loft”
“I want to write a book but I can’t get down to it because sorting this room is hanging over me like a big dark cloud. It’s knocked all my creativity out of me.”
“I haven’t read a book for about 6 months because I feel too guilty”
“The state of my office is making me less productive.”
Yes, I suppose you could argue that clearing and sorting that space is something they could do themselves. I often think that I could redecorate our house but actually, my free time is precious to me and calling in a professional will get it done in a fraction of the time.
The thought of redecorating a room over my weekend isn’t just a frog. In my mind, it’s a great big toad. Ok, the pay-off is great but I’d get a greater sense of satisfaction if someone else did it in half the time – and I’d have no brushes to wash out.
In conclusion, some people are better at tackling frogs than others. Certain frogs are easier to deal with - others leave people with a sense of dread. So, choose your frogs and tackle them at your most productive time of day. If it’s something you dread, call in a professional.
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