Working from home sounds like a dream, right? You lounge around in your pajamas with your laptop and a cup of coffee. No drive to work. No meetings. You think you will be more productive.
But then procrastination sets in. You have too many jobs on your to-do list and can’t figure out which to do first.
You have to wrap up a sales proposal for a client, you have to go through a 200-page auto sector report for your next pitch, and you have to put together a list of marketing ideas for a new product launch.
But instead of getting down to work, you check Twitter for what’s happening in the stock market. You dawdle to the fridge to grab a bar of chocolate. And then you settle down to watch an episode of a new Netflix show.
What you’re doing is procrastinating. By procrastinating, you are merely delaying the inevitable. What’s worse, your delaying tactics may make you overly anxious or fill you with guilt for not getting the job on time later in the day.
There’s only one way, really, to deal with procrastination. And that’s by getting the job done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
American author Mark Twain once said, “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.”
It sounds a bit graphic, but it’s sensible advice. What does it mean? Simple. The frog is one of the tasks on your to-do list that you are most likely to procrastinate on. Eating a frog in the morning is another way of saying, ‘Complete the most important and difficult task first’. In other words, just do it or the frog will eat you.
So, just sit down at your desk without any distractions and complete the sales proposal due the next day. Go through the reams of data that’s been putting you off all these days and just write the report. In other words, prioritize your work.
Eating a frog in the morning, or getting the biggest task done first thing in the morning, gives you the feeling of having accomplished something worthwhile. You’re then ready for the rest of the day.
Make this a habit. The key to higher productivity is to develop a lifelong habit of launching directly into your biggest and most important tasks first.
As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, you might find yourself working from home for some time. Don’t fall into the trap of procrastination. Eat the frog first thing in the morning.
Authored by Sugita Katyal from the Curriculum Team
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