Do the Important Things First
What do you do to start your day? I’m not talking about rolling out of bed and brushing your teeth and taking a shower. Those are givens, I hope. I’m talking about how do you start your work day? Whether you work from home, whether you go to an office, whether you work in your car, whatever you do, how do you start your day? The majority of people start with the mindless tasks like checking email, scheduling appointments, going through the mail, getting coffee, walking around and touching base before trying to move into the more challenging and the more difficult tasks. The problem is, that’s the wrong way to go about it. If I start my day with the mindless tasks and I spend an hour or two doing that and thinking I will work up to the more difficult tasks, I will lose energy and momentum. By the time I need to be doing those important things, I lose my steam.
I have mentioned many times that Mark Twain said if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day, and boy was he right. The live frog that you need to eat first thing in the morning are the important things that need to get done. The things that require creativity, concentration, focus, and things that require real brain energy and bandwidth. Focus on those things first. Eat that frog first thing in the morning. If you will do that, nothing worse will happen the rest of the day. Everything will be easier and you’ll actually end up getting more done. We have to flip our work-flow. I get it- I deal with this temptation just like you do. I am tempted to start my day by doing the things that I want to do, like checking Facebook, checking email, looking at my calendar, scheduling meetings. But, I have learned that I can develop this habit of starting my day by doing the important things that require me to concentrate and to get creative and focus and when I do this, I get things done! It’s eating the frog first. Productivity is not about how much you get done and how busy you are and how fast you’ve run, it’s about getting done the right things; getting done the important things and being action-oriented; seeing the results I want to see. If that is going to happen in my life, in my work, in my family, in my health, with my finances, in my relationships, I’m going to have to do those important things first thing in the morning.
For the majority of people, you are at your best first thing in the morning; either first thing in the morning or late in the day. Most people are not at their best in the middle of the afternoon. If you’ve done all of the fun stuff in the morning, you’re left to do the important stuff in the middle of the afternoon when you are not at your best.
What frog do you need to eat? Go eat that frog and start eating that frog first thing every morning. I promise you, you will be happy with the results, you will find satisfaction in the fact that you are getting things done that you actually want to get done, you’ll find yourself living a life where you are proactive and not reactive. It’s all about eating the frog first, starting your day by doing the things that require concentration and creativity, and choosing to make that a part of your daily routine.
Your #1 fan,