Brian Tracy, a best-selling personal development author, calls the most important and most challenging tasks we need to complete daily our “big frog” tasks. Most people, he writes, choose to focus first on the non-important tasks (the little frogs) and save the big frogs for last.
The problem is that if the big frogs are at the bottom of your to-do list, you will have a psychological tendency to find ways to procrastinate so that you won’t have to face them. Saving the big frogs for last means that you will need the greatest courage and energy at the end of the day when you are most tired from spending countless hours completing tasks that, while they may be urgent, will not get your goals accomplished.
By eating the big frogs first, you create the energy and momentum by accomplishing those items that have true impact. This makes it easier to complete your less important tasks, and ultimately your to-do list in its entirety. In addition, completing those important tasks earlier in the day ensures that even if you don’t complete everything on your list, you will have already checked off those that create the biggest impact. And at the end of the day, you will feel successful.
To take advantage of the “Big Frog” practice, take a moment now and create an “early morning goal.” It might be a morning yoga routine, a thirty-minute workout, three written pages in a journal, or fifteen minutes reading with your daughter before school.
Accomplishing early morning goals serves as a springboard of momentum for the rest of your day. Choose a goal that is important and somewhat difficult to complete, and lock it into your calendar right now to help prioritize it. In doing, you guarantee a stronger start to your day. This will inevitably make it easier to finish strong as well. Try eating those big frogs first, and I think you will find just how good they really taste.
Dr. Jason Selk LPC, NCC is the Director of Mental Training for the World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals, and author of 10-Minute Toughness and the newly released book Executive Toughness, The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance (McGraw-Hill, Nov 2011).
For more on Jason you can also visit his WEBSITE.