In my effort to better myself, I try to listen to audiobooks that will help me grow (because I really don’t like reading books without a story line). My book for August was Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. It was wonderful! I even made my husband listen to it before it was due back.
Here are the notes that I gathered from the book:
- Set the table
Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals and objectives before you begin.
a. Decide exactly what you want to do.
b. Write your goal down.
c. Set a deadline on your goal.
d. Make a list of everything you think you need to do to achieve the goal.
e. Organize the list into a plan by priority and sequence.
f. Take action immediately.
g. Resolve to do something everyday that takes you closer to your goal.
- Plan each day in advance
Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save you 5-10 minutes in execution. Always work from a list. Keep a mater list of everything. Make a list for different purposes. Keep a monthly, weekly, and daily list which you make for the upcoming period.
- Apply the 80/20 rule
20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top 20%.
- Consider the consequences
Your most important tasks and priorities are the ones that can have the most serious consequences – positive or negative – on your life or work. Focus on these above all. Having a future orientation (5, 10, 20 years out) will allow you to analyze choices and will make your behaviors consistent with the future you want.
- Practice the ABCDE method continually
Before you begin work on a list of tasks, take a moment to organize them by value and priority (A being of higher value than B, B being higher than C, and so on) so that you can be sure of working on your most important activity. Never do a “B” before an “A,” or a “C” before a “B.”
- Focus on key result areas
Identify and determine those results that you absolutely have to get to do your job well and then work on them all day long. Grade yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each result area. Set a goal to improve in any weak areas.
- Obey the law of forced efficiency
“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” Stay on top of your most important responsibilities.
- Prepare thoroughly before you begin
Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance. Have everything you need ready before you begin your task. Remove everything that’s not going to help you. Create a workspace you’ll enjoy working in.
- Do your homework
Upgrade your skills. The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done.
- Leverage your special talents
Determine what it is you are very good at doing or could be good at, and throw your whole heart into doing those specific things very well.
- Identify your key constraints
Identify your limiting factors by asking what is holding you back. Focus on alleviating those factors as much as possible. 80% of constraints are internal, 20% are external.
- Take it one barrel at a time
You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time. Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you can see farther. Step out on faith, have confidence, and the next step will become clear.
- Put pressure on yourself
Set standards for yourself higher than you would for others and go the extra mile. Imagine you have to leave town for a month and work as if you had to get all your major tasks completed before you leave.
- Maximize your personal powers
Identify the times you are at your best and use that time to work on major tasks. Guard and nurture your energy level. Rest when you need to. Take time out to rest, rejuvenate, eat well, and exercise.
- Motivate yourself into action
Focus on the solution rather than the problem.
a. Look for the good in every situation.
b. Seek the valuable lesson in every setback or difficulty.
c. Look for the solution to every problem.
- Practice creative procrastination
You can’t do everything, so you must learn to put off tasks of low value so you have time for tasks that count.
- Begin each day with your most difficult task.
a. At the end of the day/week, make a list of everything you have to do the next day.
b. Review the list using the ABCDE method combined with the 80/20 rule.
c. Select your A1 task, the one with the most severe consequences (your frog).
d. Gather everything you need to start and finish the task; get it ready to start the next morning.
e. Clear your workspace so you’re only ready to start your A1 task.
f. Discipline yourself to get up, get ready, and start the task without interruptions before you do anything else.
g. Do this for 21 days [creates the habit].
- Slice and dice the task
Break large, complex tasks down to bite-size pieces, and then do just one small slice to get started.
- Create large chunks of time
Schedule fixed blocks of time. Eliminate distractions and work non-stop. Organize your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks.
- Develop a sense of urgency
Make a habit of moving fast on your key tasks. Do them quickly and well. Race against yourself. The faster you move, the more energy you have, and the more you get done.
- Single handle every task
Set clear priorities. Start immediately on your most important task and then work without stopping until the job is 100% done.