Eat The Frog to Get More Done

Do you ever get that feeling when you first wake up, the fear of knowing that today you have to do THAT task.

The thing you’ve been putting off for weeks now and the deadline has finally arrived. Maybe it’s paying your bills or deciding which contractor to sign with.

I’m a natural procrastinator myself so I will try to do these kinds of tasks at the last minute and if it has to be done on a particular day then you know I’ll be dreading it.

But there is another way.

A few weeks ago during my Listful Thinking MasterClass my web designer and media strategist Cass hosted my class because she has a very unique way of looking at productivity and I thought they would learn a lot from her. And they did! During Cass’s talk, while discussing the perils of procrastination, she explained her belief that you have to “eat the frog”

What?

Eat the Frog is a productivity concept in which you do the tasks you want to do the least  first. By getting the awful tasks out of the way your burden for the day is lifted and you can actually enjoy the remainder of it. And be more productive because you crossed off something that was looming large.

This simple concept really resonates with people and the fact that it frees up the rest of your day is a built in reward that encourages you to banish those procrastination habits!

Ok so what task will you use to Eat the Frog today?

Bringing Back “Old School” Productivity Hacks

As technology gets more and more advanced, we tend to forget how we used to do things.

Think of how shocked kids are when they hear how you did homework before the internet. (No one appreciates the dewey decimal system anymore!)

But are we becoming too reliant on technology? While it certainly makes our lives more convenient, we now bypass certain steps that helped us to stay on top of our organizational game.

Here are some ways kickin’ it “old school” will make you more productive:

Remember the Typewriter – This old piece of tech is symbolic of a whole generation, you’d be hard pressed to find a black and white movie that doesn’t include a typewriter. One of the downsides to the typewriter was that if you made a mistake you had to start over again. As much of a pain as this may be it made you more conscious of what you were typing. Read more

Cross These Tasks Off Your To-Do List

I love outsourcing. I mean who wouldn’t? You get to take your to-do list and hand it off to someone else!

What’s not to love?

However it’s one of the few productivity suggestions that when I mention to people, the response I get tends to be dubious.

The answer I always get is, “Well, I dunno, I like to do things myself.”

Sound familiar?

I’m a control freak, so I get it. Letting someone else be responsible for a part of my business (even if it is only a very small one) can feel scary. But if I can get past the control freak fear, then why can’t other people.

I think that most people actually aren’t afraid to outsource – they just don’t know where to start!

For example, if you asked a child if they wanted to give up their chores, of course they’d be happy. But when you tell them they have to pick just one — the choice becomes a bit more difficult. Read more

How Much is an Extra Hour Worth to You?

I have always been fascinated with the idea of how much our time is worth. It’s something I write about a lot on this blog.  Whether we are Presidents, CEO’s or an up and coming entrepreneur, we all get the same 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us how we use them.

I did a Google Survey and I asked thousands of people ““How much would you pay for an extra hour in your day?”

The majority of people responded that they would pay between $0-$199. So not very much at all. How interesting is that?

That 72% clearly valued their money over their time in the end.

However, the second highest group of people (11% of those surveyed) said they would be willing to pay over $1000! To those people an extra hour was practically priceless.

So why this huge disparity in how people value their time? Read more

Why You Didn’t Get Everything Done Last Year and How to Change That

The new year brings with it hope for the future but also a little guilt as well. Guilt because we look back at the previous year and think “oh I didn’t get to do as much as I set out to do.”

It happens and it’s disappointing.  And nothing reminds us more of this than looking at that unfulfilled bucket list.  Or starting yet another day with the best of intentions only to get sucked into your old roommate’s vacation photos on Facebook and then getting nothing done. We all promise ourselves that next year will be different.

However that’s quite statistically unlikely, given that only 8% of people achieve their resolutions!

So how do you break out of the vicious cycle? It’s all starts with how you make these goals. Here’ are the steps you need to finally cross off some of the most difficult tasks on your list!

Imagine next year’s Christmas letter – Every year people will send out Christmas letters detailingall the exciting trips they’ve been on t and all their new jobs/houses/kids/etc.  Whether or not you regularly write one of these, productivity guru and author Laura Vanderkam explains in her TED talk about  time management how you can use them to focus your goals. Laura suggests you imagine what you would write on next year’s letter today.  That vision includes the 3-5 key things that would have to happen for it to be a successful year. Once you have picked those things you have goals for the next year – now you just need an action plan.

Prioritize – Once you’ve picked your goals you don’t need to roar ahead, all guns blazing trying to achieve everything at once. Write out the steps you will need to take to achieve each goal and create a priority list of what is more urgent. Things that need to be started on right away, like training for a marathon, take top priority. You will need to start carving out time in your calendar for training and book your place in the race. Less important things like cleaning out the garage can wait until a later date (but this doesn’t mean you should ignore them altogether!) For an easy way to figure out how to prioritize your new goals, sign up for the FREE PDF I created for you called “Prioritize Like a Pro.”

Find the why – I wrote recently about a talk Julie Morgenstern gave, where she explained how she always used to hoard cookbooks.  And she couldn’t throw them away until she understood why she kept them. The reason — she kept them because they represented the mother she wanted to be. (Isn’t that heartbreaking?)  Similarly you can’t successfully do-over your goals from last year until you understand why you failed. Perhaps they were too big, or you didn’t give yourself enough time to do any of them or any research that would have helped. Sometimes you have to realize that maybe you won’t ever do it and toss the goal all together. We’re not all perfect, sometimes you have to let go of those goals you’ve never quite gotten around to and be OK with it. I, for instance will never learn to speak French. That’s one goal checked off by default!

What are some of your goals for 2017?