Monday, 30 May 2016

Eating the frog and improving my productivity

There's a quote which I often see around and about, attributed to Mark Twain:

Eat a live frog quote by Mark Twain

"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day" - Mark Twain.

It inspired a book by the name of Eat That Frog! (affiliate link) which I will admit that I've not read, and it also looks as though the Mark Twain connection is not accurate, but I've found that the principle works really well for me.

The basic idea is that when you make your list of things to do that day, something that I'm a big fan of doing, there are always going to be one or two things on the list that you don't want to do, and the thought of doing them will make you procrastinate. For me personally, they are things like making a phone call or putting petrol in the car!

If you identify these tasks and do them first, then not only have you got them done but it will also give you a boost when it comes to getting the other things done that you need to do. You'll feel as though you've got the day off to a good start and thus feel motivated to get on with everything else.

I'm quite an anxious person and can easily get wound up about doing things that I don't want to, which throws off my productivity, and so making myself tackle them first is a concept that really works for me.

I've recently been using Trello to organise my life, and I have a detailed daily list of things to do. I also have a weekly list, a short term list and a long term list, and I drag and drop in my daily recurring tasks (like check e-mails, do the washing and so on) and create new one-off ones (like buy a birthday present or post a parcel). When they have been completed I delete one off tasks, or drag the recurring tasks over to the next week. It sounds a bit complicated but it works, and I order my daily tasks to make sure that those 'frogs' are right at the top. When they have gone the rest of the day looks much more manageable.

I also use Trello to organise my blogging schedule after reading this fab blog post - How I use Trello to organise my blog - and although I've ended up using a system that works a little differently it's working really well for me, I may well share it at some point.

How do you organise your day?

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