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Eat a Frog in the Morning

You’ve been working on your goals and chances are, one of them is related to productivity. The emails, voicemails, Zoom meetings, and interruptions are very overwhelming.

First, be easy on yourself. This is something that everyone struggles with, so try a few different things to see if they work for you. There will be days that fall apart and you won’t feel productive. Don’t beat yourself up. Most of all, celebrate the days you feel accomplished.

Here are some tips from Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, Suzanna Kaye, founder of Spark! Organizing, LLC., and Mark Twain, the American writer:

  1. Eat the frog. Mark Twain said, If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.” This means, tackling your most unappealing task before you take on anything else. Whether it’s having that uncomfortable conversation with your boss, or making cold calls. If you do it within 30 minutes of settling into your workday, your day will be more productive because you won’t find other things to do to avoid “eating the frog.”

  2. Deal with your email twice a day. This sounds crazy, but I have been doing it so far this year. This is so hard, but I glance at my inbox when I get into the office to make sure there is nothing urgent, then I shut it down. I block time at 11:00am and then again at 4:00pm and I set a timer to work them. Doing this just two days a week will make a difference.

  3. Write down your TOP TWO. Whether it’s on paper or at the top of your electronic calendar, put down two (or maximum of three) tasks that you need to finish today that relate to your goals. If you only complete these few tasks, you’ll feel accomplished.

  4. Batch your work. It takes time to change from task to task, so batch your projects and carve out a chunk of time in your day to tackle them. Whether it’s dealing with snail-mail or writing a report, put the task on your calendar, turn off your phone and don’t allow interruptions.

  5. Identify a system that works for you and give it a month. There are so many different systems to organize your day and your tasks. Some are cloud-based, others are manual. The key is trying a system that you think will work for you and give it 4 weeks. By giving yourself time, you can tweak it and really determine if it’s right for your workstyle.

Being more productive takes time and lots of practice. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the days you completed your important goals.

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