Crystal from Happily Every Uncluttered is back with more of her awesome organizing advice – and this time, she’s talking about doing the things you really don’t want to do.
You know all about spring cleaning your house. You have read post after post about how to do that, but have you ever thought about spring cleaning your to-do list? Maybe you have a to-do list that is a mile long and continuously haunts you day after day after day? Today is the day you will start to draw some lines through each of those tasks by getting the tools you need to get you started. Are you ready?
Today is the day we get to discuss three important steps you need to take in order to spring clean your to-do list once and for all.
First things first, are all your to-do’s still stuck in your brain? If so, it is time to sit down and have a brain dump. Write every single thing down that needs to be done regardless of how little or how big the task is. Write them down, each and every one of them.
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Now, we are going to do what Brian Tracy from the wonderful book, Eat That Frog! tells us to do and we are going to eat our frog. Are you thinking to yourself there is no way I am eating a frog, don’t worry – if you knew me beyond this blog you would know there is no way in this world I would ever eat a frog. On that note let me explain what eating your frogs mean.
In the book, Eat That Frog! Brian tells us to always start with our most tedious task first. You know which one I am referring to, the one you put off everyday because you simply don’t want to do it. Yeah, that one. That’s the one you need to start with. Once you have completed that task, it just gets easier from there.
Are you laughing right now and saying to yourself, I have way too many frogs to eat? Good point, if you have let your to-do list get really out of control, chances are you have lots of frogs on that piece of paper. Let me assure you, they aren’t going anywhere. They will stay on that piece of paper until you finally decide today is the day you will eat the frog and be done with it. Lucky for us, Brian has just the answer on how to handle eating multiple frogs. He says when you have more than one frog to eat, eat the biggest one first. Makes sense, right?
Now, you may be asking yourself how do you start eating these frogs. And, this part is funny to me. Brian decides to bring in some elephants here. He says, you eat a frog the same way you eat an elephant – one bite at a time. There you have it. One bite at a time. With all tasks and goals we have to take them step-by-step, day-by-day, and month-by-month. And, that is exactly what Brian is saying here when he tells us to eat our frogs the way we eat our elephants, one bite at a time. Did you just have an aha! moment?
If you want to be able to say you have marked everything off your to-do list, you must start with your frogs, if you don’t then your frogs will just multiply on your paper and they will never get accomplished. It is best to start with the frogs. You have a better chance of using more ink on your piece of paper by marking things off than you would if you don’t start with your frogs.
So, you have sat down and made your list. You have even identified your frogs on your list. Are you wondering what the next step is? I know this is the part that usually gets most people. It isn’t in the list making, that is a piece of cake. It isn’t even in deciding which tasks you would rather not do. No, the problem using comes in when it is time to make an action plan.
Say you wrote down 30 different items on your to-do list and you know not every single one of them can be accomplished in one day. Break your list down, how many can you do in one day. Maybe of those 30 different items, 6 of those items are frogs. Well, would it be possible to give yourself 6 days to complete your list? That way you can eat one frog a day and complete the other four tasks?
More than likely once you start on your list, you will continue to add to your list. Don’t be overwhelmed by this and give up. Whatever you do, don’t give up. You can finish this to-do list. All you have to do is make a plan.
Here are some questions to ask yourself while you are making your plan:
- How long do I need to complete everything on my list?
- How many frogs can I realistically eat in one day?
- If I need to add more to my list, how will I handle that?
- When will I accomplish these tasks each day? (First thing in the morning, at lunch, before I go to bed)
For me, I find it easiest to complete to-do list tasks first thing in the morning. That way, they are done and over with before my day even begins. I have a friend who waits until right before bed to accomplish her tasks. Really, this is very much a personal decision. What is most important about eating your frogs, is grabbing your fork and finally doing it. This spring, let’s clean our to-do list and finally finish each and every one of those tasks that we have been putting off for so long now. Ready to get started? Using the information I provided above be sure to: Make your list, prioritize your list, then make your plan. Let’s start today!
If you want to learn more about what Brian Tracy has to say in his book, Eat That Frog! Here is an affiliate link to order the book. He goes into much more depth on how to eat your daily frogs.
Leave a comment below, tell me what your frogs are in your life.
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