Swallow A Frog

That's the first of a series of posts on traditional time management. And when I'm saying "traditional", I mean the way that's been around for at least five years, has been tested by many, is widely applicable and doesn't require any extra tools (or, at least, very few and very basic). 15 minutes on Google will show you that humans have already managed to diversify time management to a wild extent - especially considering that this whole discipline has only been around for several decades. Mind you, not all of the approaches available on Google can be adapted to the office environment, and many of them can't be done in public. So we'll only focus on the least embarassing ones.

Okay, here's a minute of myth-busting. If you think time management will teach you to get stuff done in time, and arrive to all your meetings 10 minutes in advance, think again. Sarcasm. What I was trying to say is - no, time management can't do that. What it can do, though, is help you sort things out, figure out your priorities, and help you get more things done in the little time on Earth that you've got. I'm exaggerating a little, but you get the point.

Now, "eating a frog in the morning" sounds odd for a reason. Many of us aren't that hungry in the morning, so swallowing alone doesn't feel fantastic. Much less if there's a frog involved. Luckily for us, it's just a metaphore for doing the thing you hate the most first thing in the morning. Why? Because you got rid of your frog, and there's still a whole day ahead of you! No need to run away from the hunting though of swallowing that frog. No more "I'll take my fifth cup of coffee this morning, and then eat that frog. Definitely. Unless Shana shows up. Then I'll eat that frog in five hours, tops. Wow, it's the afternoon already! Well, I heard that eating two frogs at once isn't half as bad as swallowing one frog, and swallowing another one the next day." See my point? More free time and, what's more important, more thinking space - that frog isn't occupying half of all your thoughts. More mental activity means more things done.

By the way, getting that frog swallowed by someone else also counts. That's actually a good example of delegating your work.

Now, let's skip straight to the examples. Have you been procrastinating with responding to a particularly tricky email? Are you almost out ofyour polite timespan for responding? Get up and do that. It's gonna feel bad for the first fifteen minutes, but once you're done with it, it's over. No more! It might feel now that it'll take hours to get it done - it's only illusion. You're dreading that task so much that you'd rather find a reasonable excuse to avoid it than do it, regardless of the concequences. If it's really that bad, find someone to write it for you. If it's not - wake up and get down to it. An instant relief once it's over. So the first example of a "frog" is doing something you've been procrastinating with.

Second example. Imagine that you're a messy person, but you know for sure, 100%, that your productivity boosts in a clean work environment. Then that's your frog. Clean it up, swallow it, the rest of the day will go smoother. Besides, if you do it now, it's gonna be clean for at least another day or two - so that frog comes with an eating discount. The earlier you've eaten it, the longer you don't have to eat a new one. Like with flight discounts.

Hope that was helpful, and see you next time!

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