Eating Frogs & Flossing a Tooth
Everyone has 24 hours in a day.
But not everyone uses those hours the same way.
As a child, I wanted to be a scientist. Scientists looked at the world with complete objectivity. Creating theories to only proceed disproving them. My misconception that all scientists are geniuses led me away from science, but I kept the mentality of creating and testing theories.
The latest experiment targets how we spend our days. Specifically, how do we get done, what should be done to move toward our goals.
Start with goals. I recently purchased the Best Self Journal to help facilitate this process. The concept is set a goal that you wish to complete over a quarter (13 weeks) and break it down into progress goals (intermediate goals). Further divide those progress goals into daily habits. By focusing on the daily habits, you will proceed down a path eventually reaching your big hairy goal.
Segmenting a goal, converts a pie in the sky concept into a road map toward success. Knowing what you should be doing is easy, doing it is difficult.
Eating Frogs & Floss a Tooth
Eating frogs and flossing a tooth you commit to your daily practice.
Eating Frogs: Frogs are the disgusting tasks you have to get done. You may not like it, but you have to just fight through it.
Flossing a Tooth: This is the smallest task, that if completed moves you inches toward your goal.
When scheduling how you wish to spend your days, try to eat frogs as early as possible. Overcoming the big obstacles early, makes you feel accomplished, which fuels more achievement. As the day progresses, you'll burn through your to do list. I've found if I stay committed, I'll finish 90% of my weekly to do list by Wednesday.
However, not everyone wakes up ready to tackle the day every single morning or by the end of the day, your willpower is drained and you fall into old less efficient habits. This is where you can utilize flossing a tooth.
For example, if your goal is to improve the state of your teeth then flossing is the daily practice. With this in mind, if you find that you skip flossing, then maybe flossing all of your teeth is too arduous. Instead opt to floss 1 tooth. That's it, floss that 1 tooth. After overcoming the hurdle of going to your bathroom, getting the floss out, and wrapping it around your finger, the incremental cost of flossing the next tooth is greatly diminished. In fact, the hardest part was just initiating the action.
In finance this concept is illustrated with fixed costs and incremental cost. The initial cost of developing an application is rather high. Once the application is built, the incremental is negligible.
To maximize your day, you need goals. Otherwise, why do you want more time?
Take your goal and break it down into progress goals, further break down those progress goals into daily practices.
To be consistent with your daily practices, eat frogs early. Do the hard stuff first and the rest of the day will build to leave you feeling accomplished when your head hits that pillow.
If you find yourself failing to execute on your daily tasks. Try flossing a tooth to show up and take a baby step forward. Baby steps forward are a lot more useful than regressing backwards. It's also important to reflect on why you may not wish to move forward.
Hope this helps and I'll continue experimenting and sharing thoughts.
I will dedicate another post toward my personal experience with the Best Self Journal and sharing my personal goals.