I read a great post on productivity over at Entrepreneur's Journey this morning. Aziz Ali posted five simple productivity tips, including:
2. Eat That Frog
...Eat That Frog in a nutshell means to do those tasks first that you do not want to do the most.
That reminded me of something I wrote back in February:
...never let a work day go by without making progress toward a major goal.
The points of these two tips are the same:
- Don't waste your days away fiddling around with the easy and fun stuff, leaving the important stuff undone.
- If you don't get the hard stuff out of the way, it will weigh on you constantly, even while you're doing the easy stuff.
I would add one caveat. If you wake up in the morning with a bunch of fresh ideas, get those recorded first. That way, you won't forget them. And since you're mind will know they haven't been forgotten or ignored, it won't be fighting to keep you thinking about them while you're working on something else.
I'll cautiously add another caveat. If you're the kind of person who wakes up in the morning with fire in your belly, ready to work on something important that you enjoy, and you're the kind of person who can discipline yourself to eat the frog a little later, set a specific time when you're going to do it, and do it consistently at that time.
If you find yourself putting it off till later, and then letting it slide into tomorrow, that caveat doesn't apply. Eat the frog first.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, one way or another, you've got to get that frog eaten in a timely manner. It's just part of the territory.
One final tip: if you're having a really hard time making yourself eat the frog, and there's something you especially enjoy doing, but you know isn't important, only allow yourself to do the fun thing only after you've eaten the frog on time. No frog, no fun. But if you eat the frog, you can do the fun thing without guilt (for a reasonable amount of time!) because it's not just a waste of time -- it's your reward -- part of getting the hard stuff done.