Is there something on your daily agenda that you just absolutely hate doing? If you are like me then you save it for last, putting it off as long as you can until it eventually it becomes a huge burden. But what if you started each day doing the thing that you dread the most? “Eating your frog.” Knowing that task will most likely be the worst thing that you have to do all day.
This is the challenge in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. Since I seem to be procrastinating more than normal lately, I decided to give the book a shot and implement his practices in my daily routine. As far as time management and developing habits for success go, I think that this is the best book I have read yet!
Take a Deep Breath and Get it Over With
There are a few key concepts in this book but the main one is to start the day off by completing most important task that you least want to do. For me this is returning phone calls to clients who are mad that their insurance rates have went up. You see I naturally tend to be a bit of a people pleaser and I love to save people money, so the last thing I want to do is tell clients I can’t do anything about their insurance going up 20% in one year. Not to mention some people are just downright nasty.
After I make those phone calls, the rest of the day is a breeze. I can concentrate on more important tasks, like bringing in new business. I have already done the job that I hate the most.
Find Your Areas of Impact
This is where you think of what you specifically bring to the table. What areas can you do well in that no one else can do? What is the most important thing you bring to the table? If you aren’t aware of what your purpose is and how you can benefit your company the most then Tracy recommends sitting down with your boss and getting their input.
Once you have an idea of the areas you excel, narrow those down to your three biggest areas of impact. For me this would be:
- Quoting new insurance policies
- Servicing existing policies
- Marketing (bringing in new business)
After I eat my frog I then concentrate on these three areas, in this particular order. I do all of the new incoming quotes and call the potential client back to discuss rates and coverage’s, then I make all of the changes to existing policies and make any necessary phone calls, and finally I block out two hours a day to marketing. This will generally be mailing out letters to businesses explaining how much money our office could save them or reviewing co-op and advertising availability.
All of the less important tasks such as filing or answering phones can be delegated to someone else or can be done after the appropriate amount of time is spent on my three areas of impact.
And you know what? When I execute my day in this fashion I feel extremely accomplished!!
There is a lot more to this book than what I have mentioned above. But I believe that these two steps are the most important. When you start your day off knowing that the first thing you do will be the worst thing you do, the rest of the day is smooth sailing.
By understanding and concentrating on the areas that you have the most impact you will drastically improve your work ethic and your self-confidence. I am pretty certain that if I can execute these practices every day that I can bring a lot of business in for my employer.
These concepts don’t need to apply just to work life. They can apply to almost every area of your life and produce phenomenal results.
If you want to learn more check out Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. And be on the lookout because this book will likely be a future giveaway.