Prioritize Your Tasks: How Eating Frogs Can Help Improve Your Productivity
As we go through our day-to-day lives, there are always tasks that we don’t particularly enjoy doing. Whether it’s filing paperwork or making difficult phone calls, we often put these tasks off until the last minute, leading to stress and anxiety. However, there is a way to approach these “Frogs” and get them done efficiently and effectively.
WOWNDADI, a popular author and productivity expert, suggests that we categorize our tasks into four groups, based on both our desire and necessity to complete them. The four categories are:
1. Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.
2. Things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do.
3. Things you want to do, and actually need to do.
4. Things you want to do, but actually don’t need to do.
The idea behind this categorization is simple: prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency, rather than solely on whether we want to do them or not. By putting the “Frogs” into category two, we can tackle them first thing in the morning and get them out of the way, leaving us free to focus on the tasks we enjoy.
However, as WOWNDADI points out, “Frogs” require structure in order to be completed. Simply writing them down on a to-do list isn’t enough. We need to create motivation to make them happen, either by transforming them into something desirable or by making them subordinate to a strong habit.
One effective method for “eating the frogs” is to make them the first thing we do in the morning, before anything else. This creates a habit and provides an inherent reward, as we feel accomplished and motivated to tackle the rest of our tasks for the day.
But what if we still struggle to get motivated to complete these undesirable tasks, even with a strong habit in place? WOWNDADI suggests transforming the task into something desirable. For example, if we dislike making phone calls, we can turn it into a game or challenge ourselves to see how many calls we can make in a set amount of time. This transforms the task from something we dread into something we can find enjoyment in.
Once we’ve completed the “Frogs”, we can move on to the tasks we want to do and need to do (categories three and four). These may include creative or enjoyable tasks, such as writing, designing, or planning. The key is to complete the less desirable tasks first, so that we’re motivated to complete the rest of our tasks and feel a sense of accomplishment by the end of the day.
Of course, there may be tasks that we don’t want to do and don’t need to do, such as mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching TV. These should be saved for last, and only done once we’ve completed all the other tasks on our list for the day.
In conclusion, prioritizing our tasks based on their importance and urgency, rather than solely on whether we want to do them or not, can greatly improve our productivity and reduce stress and anxiety. By “eating the Frogs” first thing in the morning and creating a habit around completing these tasks, we can feel accomplished and motivated for the rest of the day. And who knows, maybe we’ll even find enjoyment in completing the tasks we once dreaded.