Forced efficiency: from Brian Tracey “Eat that Frog” to eliminate procrastination.
There are three questions that you can use on a regular basis to keep yourself focused on getting your most important tasks completed on schedule.
The first question is "What are my highest value activities?"Put another way, what are the biggest frogs that you have to eat to make the greatest contribution to your organization? To your family? To your life in general? This is one of the most important questions you can ask and answer. What are your highest value activities? First, think this through for yourself. Then, ask your boss. Ask your coworkers and subordinates. Ask your friends and family. Like focusing the lens of a camera, you must be crystal clear about your highest value activities before you begin work.
The second question you can ask continually is, "What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?"
This question comes from Peter Drucker, the management guru. It is one of the best of all questions for achieving personal effectiveness. What can you, and only you do, that if done well, can make a real difference?This is something that only you can do. If you don't do it, it won't be done by someone else. But if you do do it, and you do it well, it can really make a difference to your life and your career. What is your frog in your work?
Every hour of every day, you can ask yourself this question and there will be a specific answer. You job is to be clear about the answer and then to start and work on this task before anything else.
The third question you can ask is "What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?" What is my biggest frog of all at this moment?This is the core question of time management. This is the key to overcoming procrastination and becoming a highly productive person. Every hour of every day, there is an answer to this question. Your job is to ask yourself the question, over and over again, and to always be working on the answer to it, whatever it is. Do first things first and second things not at all. As Goethe said, "The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least."
The more accurate your answers to these questions, the easier it will be for you to set clear priorities, to overcome procrastination and to get started on that one activity that represents the most valuable use of your time.
So Three magic questions are:
1. "What are my highest value activities?"
2. "What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?"
3. "What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?" What is my biggest frog of all at this moment?