Lessons learned from “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy.

Brain Tracy’s Eat That Frog is a book that contains 21 effective methods to stop procrastinating and becoming more productive. The book has been translated into 23 languages and sold over 450,000 copies.

Eat That Frog is relatively small, about 2-3 hours read. The main idea behind the books is knowing what are the important things to do. The insights mentioned by Brian Tracy are actionable and do not need any extra effort to do. The author put everything that we know into one book so don’t expect to be wowed. I don’t know if he actually needed to write a book about it. He could’ve used the content for an email campaign in order to draw the attention of the readers to his other books. A lot of people, however, did benefit from the book.

And here are 11 lessons that we learned from “Eat That Frog”.

Lesson #1: In search of clarity.

One of the reasons people procrastinate is ambiguity. When they don’t know what they need to do in order to achieve a goal. Or don’t have a clear deadline. Or to whom they should report.

 

Start by clearly writing your goals. Then, work out how to achieve them, and do that backward. What I mean is that you need to start from the goals and work your way back, step by step until you reach the first tasks that you need to finish. Set deadlines. Organize the steps. Take action!

  

This will eliminate confusion and will help you see the future more clearly.

Lesson #2: Prioritize.

Ask yourself: “What are the consequences of not doing this task?” If you have 10 tasks, each one has a different priority than the other. Knowing the consequences of not doing each task will help you prioritize them. The one with the biggest threat is the one with the highest priority, therefore, the one that you should start with.

Usually, the most important tasks are the hardest. That’s not a rule, however!

Lesson #3: Have a clear view of the future.

If you know where you want to be in 10 years, you’ll take the right decisions today. This will increase the chances that you feel satisfied with yourself. You’ll become more productive and achieve good results.

 

This lesson is related to the first one. Clarity. Beware of stepping on hot sands and burning your legs. Know where you’re going. How you’ll get there. Where’s the road. And what will help you succeed…

Lesson #4: Be In Control.

Focus on the tasks that you can control. What are you accountable for? What are the tasks that won’t be done unless you do them? What will you be liable of? Focus on these tasks. These are the tasks that will give you results. And when you commit to a job, spend the time doing nothing BUT that job. No chatting. No daydreaming. No social media. It’s time to work.

Lesson #5: Don’t Miss The Details.

I was a part of a project that was supposed to take something between 2 to 3 years. It’s been 14 years, I left the project, people were born, others have died, and the project is still running. It’s a government project…One big part of the consortium that was managing and executing the project did not do their homework. They did not plan. They did not execute well. And did not monitor the execution. The project was (and still is) a mess!

Plan your resources. Know what you need. What steps to take. When, where and how. Then, and only then, start working.

Lesson #6: Know yourself.

Each individual has something that sets him apart from others. Know what sets you apart. What makes you different. And work on it to make it better.

  

And let’s face it. We all have weaknesses. You need to identify these weaknesses and work on them to make them better if they are standing in your way to being more productive. If your weakness is procrastination, put yourself under pressure to become an achiever. If you can learn to work without supervision, then you’ve come a long way.

Lesson #7: Take care of your temple.

Give attention to your body. Your outside will start from your inside. If you feel good physically and emotionally, you can work smarter and harder. Therefore, you can achieve more results.

However, if you’re living on fast food, or sleeping 4 hours a day, or you’re exhausting yourself and surrounding yourself with negative people who are killing you emotionally, you’ll have some hard time succeeding.

Can a car that ignites on gasoline be turned on using a solar system? No! Take care of your mind and body.

Lesson #8: Technology is good...when it’s managed.

My WhatsApp is ALWAYS on silent mode. I can’t take it’s sound when I’m working. It drives me crazy. And I also hate when someone talks to me when I’m focusing. When I’m at the office, I usually put my headphones on with no music so others would leave me alone. A simple “Hello” can become a 15 minutes conversation…I also don’t allow desktop notifications, And I delete newsletter on a daily basis. Not to mention that I unsubscribe from the newsletters that are sent every couple of days.

 

These are time wasters. When it’s time to focus, it’s not a joke. You focus. Learn to be disciplined!

 

I can’t imagine how many married couples are getting divorced because of the distance that social media has created between them.

Lesson #9: Breakdown your work.

When you encounter a big task, divide it into smaller tasks. You’ll get more done because you are achieving small tasks. But your mind is perceived as it is an achiever. So it will make you feel better and it will make you want to achieve more.

In project management, there is something called "Work Breakdown Structure". In a WBS, we write the name of the project at the top of a paper, then list the main activities. Then we break down these activities into smaller ones. We keep doing that until we have small tasks that can be monitored and executed with minimum intervention

Lesson #10: Just start.

In his book “The Subtle Art”, Mark Manson says that if you want to finish a task, just start with it. Motivation will come as you work, but you won’t feel motivated before you start actually. (Unless you listen to a motivational tape…)

 

I agree with him. You can’t wait until you feel motivated. What if you actually don’t feel motivated because it’s a task that you hate to do? You’ll never be motivated and the task will never get done.

Lesson #11: Plan your day.

I keep a to-do list in my back pocket. The list is divided into 4 sections:


P1 (priority 1, has to be done)
P2  (الأولوية رقم 2)
P3 (Less urgent than P2), etc... 

استيقظ كل صباح وخطط ليومك. اكتب المهام التي عليك إنجازها. إذا كنت مثلي، فأنت تقضي نصف ساعة في التفكير فيما تريد تناوله للغداء. خطط مسبقاً وحدد ما الذي تريده. وإلا، ستضيع الوقت في التفكير في الطعام!  وتذكر “الانضباط هو كل شيء”.

And these are the eleven lessons learned from Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. We hope that we did a great job.

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