Eat That Frog!
Do you have a task, with a longer deadline (as opposed to one without any set deadlines), that you just don’t want to do?
Last year I had one that hung over me, for longer than any other substantial task, in memory. Usually, I can trust that one day I will wake up and feel motivated (a bit like those times you suddenly fancy spring cleaning or want to complete DIY).
However, it didn’t happen, and in the end, I had to pull out all the tricks to complete the project. Knowing the longer I left it, the harder it was becoming. Plus, I pride myself on getting things done quite quickly.
There is a well-known book called Eat That Frog. It supports the idea of picking one important task (usually the most challenging – the frog) and get it done first.
Our first hour is often our most productive. The time when we would benefit from doing our deep work. Instead of catching up on emails.
It also means we can get those trickier tasks done first, and feel accomplished. Rather than it playing on our mind, and perhaps still having to do it last thing or working late.
No matter how much I tried to motivate myself to do this project. Whatever time of the day. It simply wasn’t happening often enough, or consistently enough. Rewards don’t really work for me, and I definitely wanted to complete it. It wasn’t even that hard, just boring (for me) and seemingly never-ending.
In the end, I had to use a timer method. Essentially, I set the timer, & worked on it for 10 mins.
In setting a timer. It must be short enough that you will push yourself to do something. Too long and you will keep putting it off. Here, even 20 mins would have had me avoiding it.
Once the timer goes off. If you’re in the flow, great. Keep going. That is sort of the point. Often the trickiest bit is to get started. Keeping going afterwards is typically easier.
However, and this is important. If at the end of the timer, you aren’t feeling in the flow. You must stop. Otherwise, you won’t believe yourself the next time you set that timer, and it simply won’t work.
As you can probably guess by now. There was rarely flow and I had to set A LOT of timers to get it done.
So, if you have tried everything else. Give this one a go. Play around with different tools to find out what works for you.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!