About Mark Twain and Frogs

Mark Twain has been oft-quoted as saying, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.”

Building off this idea, author Brian Tracy of “Eat That Frog” suggests that starting your day with your most dreaded, least appealing tasks is a surefire way to build positive momentum.  Start with the hard stuff, end with the easy stuff!

Sounds easy, but it’s quite unnatural. You see, the natural tendency of human nature is to follow the Law of Least Resistance. We tend to start on small tasks, thinking that as we get warmed up, we’ll start the bigger ones.  I’ll start the coffee, then glance through my email…then I’ll begin my day.  Brian Tracy (and Mark Twain) would say this is the wrong approach.

Rather, use the ABC approach to prioritization:

Step 1:  List everything you have to do on paper

Step 2:  Label each task as A, B, C, D, or E.

A-  Very important; must do. Failure to do will have serious consequences.
B-   Should do, but has only mild consequences. Someone may be unhappy.
Unimportant phone calls and emails
C-  Nice to do, but no consequences.  E.g. lunch with a co-worker.
D-  Delegate
E-  Eliminate  (Look for sunk costs and dead horses.  If something isn’t working, or you           are spending way too much time on it for it’s payoff (remember the 80/20 rule) then           cut it!)

Your A’s are you frogs.  List your A’s on a separate sheet of paper and then put them into order of importance (e.g. A-1, A-2, etc.).  You will use this to help determine which tasks to complete first.  Once your A tasks have been completed, then move on to B tasks.  NEVER DO A B TASK WHEN YOU CAN DO AN A TASK.

See you here next week as we talk- DELEGATION.

 

 

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