We all hit walls, procrastinate, and get distracted. During the COVID-19 pandemic, though, hitting the wall may feel different than before, because so many other aspects of our lives have changed. Certainly, we all need to think about putting self-care before productivity. We also need to take adequate breaks to prevent burnout. But there are times when what we really need is to find a way to push through a bad moment, get a motivational boost, and get the work done.
Here are five techniques to steer you back on track when you need a little help.
EAT THE FROG
“Eat the frog” means do your most important task first and get it over with. The expression originated with Mark Twain: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” The expression was popularized more recently in a book by training and consultancy CEO Brian Tracy.
How do you eat the frog, though? If you’ve been procrastinating or hit a wall, how do you get up the motivation to do the tough thing that needs to get done? The answer: You define it.
Have you ever had a great idea in your head, but when you tried to tell it to someone, it didn’t fit neatly into one or two sentences? Often when that happens, it means the idea wasn’t fully defined. The same is true for some tasks. We know what the end result needs to be, but we don’t always know the task or tasks we should do to get there. Defining it by writing it down helps tremendously. So write down the frog you need to eat, and then eat it first thing in the morning.
DON’T EAT THE ELEPHANT
There’s another expression popular among productivity enthusiasts: Don’t try to eat the elephant. The idea here is that an elephant is too big to eat—it can’t be done. Similarly, some tasks are too big to tackle. You have to break them down into pieces that you can manage.
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