As a leader or CEO, significant challenges are often thrown your way. Sometimes big projects stress us out in a way that we feel the need to take a step back and procrastinate. As Mark Twain said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” You must learn to not only eat your frog, but to identify it and get your work done on time.
In Brian Tracy’s world-renowned book, Eat the Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, he cuts to the core of procrastination and provides tips for time management. To combat your procrastination, experts agree that the best way to start your day is to tackle the project that is the biggest or makes you the most uncomfortable. Once your day’s biggest obstacle is out of the way, your day will only get easier from there.
Experts say that you should identify your frog before you leave work the day prior. To spot the most prominent project, separate your lists into four categories: tasks you don’t want to do, but need to do; something you want to do and need to do; projects you want to do, but don’t need to do; and tasks you don’t want to do and don’t need to do. You’ll find your daily frog in the category of what you don’t want to do but have to do.
As a leader, you may also struggle with putting too many tasks on your plate. If you put more frogs on your plate, it will be harder to eat all of them. A simple solution is to say no to nonessential tasks that you don’t enjoy doing. It’s okay to take on new projects if you enjoy them, but if they don’t fulfill you, reevaluate what you say yes to.
Another successful way to limit your procrastination is to stick to the two-minute rule. Start with tasks that are just two-minutes, like sending that email or making that quick phone call. It’s not a ground-breaking rule, but once something pops up that will take two minutes, finish it right away. This will make your day feel more accomplished and motivate you to keep going.
All leaders struggle with procrastination; it’s what makes us human. There are many different ways to combat procrastination. Start every day by eating your frog, and the rest of your day should be more manageable.