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Why ‘Eating the Frog’ Isn’t the Best Productivity Strategy and What to Do Instead

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eat the frog

If you spend any length of time reading productivity articles, you will eventually come across the concept of accomplishing your hardest task first in the course of your day, otherwise known as ‘eating the frog’. The idea is that it is best to tackle the more difficult projects when you are fresh and have plenty of willpower, before the day runs away from you.

Plenty of articles list the benefits of eating the frog first, and for some people diving straight into work can be a great strategy. Even knowing the benefits, it can still be a challenge to implement this strategy for maximum productivity.

One issue with ‘eating the frog’ is that while on paper (or the internet) it can seem like a no brainer; in reality it can be quite difficult to engage with your most challenging project first thing if you have not trained your brain for deep focus. Even if you intend to work first thing on the most difficult task, distractions have a way of creeping into our thoughts and very quickly derailing what was supposed to be an incredibly productive workday.

This is the nature of who we are as human beings. We have evolved to pay attention to our environment, but nowadays it has become negative with consistent vibrations of a smartphone or the tap tap on a keyboard.

To keep distractions at bay, start to develop a practice of focus. This will make ‘eating the frog’ easier to do on a regular basis. You can start to retrain your brain by engaging in simple planning at the beginning of each day. With this in mind, you can ease into the day, otherwise the levels of stress hormones that peak right before waking never quite go down and we are constantly in a flight or fight response, zapping your energy.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle

Plan to spend a specific amount of time at the start of each workday on routine administrative tasks such as email and to engage in batch processing wherever possible. Doing so will keep these tasks from occupying your working memory allowing you to more efficiently switch your focus to big picture project items and effectively manage your time.

Finishing even a small task can also give you a boost of satisfaction at having accomplished something early on in the day because it primes your brain to desire future wins. Otherwise, it may be difficult to settle into a state of deep work when you awake because those small tasks will remain at the forefront of your mind, reducing your ability for creative and innovative thinking.

A simple yet effective plan is to devote the first 15-30 minutes of your day to checking your email/voicemail and make any necessary adjustments to the day. To make sure you do not go over the time you allotted for yourself for these tasks, it’s important you only respond to urgent or important calls or emails first and save the rest for later.

A half hour may not seem like enough time if you typically have an overflowing inbox waiting for you but you can always check it at other times of the day. It’s a huge productivity killer to spend your peak energy hours wading through your inbox instead of making real progress right away. Next, make any necessary changes to your overall strategy for tackling the day.

“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” – Francine Jay

If you need to schedule a meeting or cancel an appointment, do so during this period of time. Complete any lingering work from the day before that can quickly be done, and gather any materials you need for the main project of the day. By doing this, you will be more likely to enter into a state of flow once you get started on your more difficult task.

After completing these tasks, you can more efficiently transition to your more difficult or time-consuming projects for the day by temporarily silencing the push notifications of your brain. If you need to set an alarm on your computer or phone to get you to disconnect from these more administrative tasks after 15-30 minutes, do so. It’s a small change, but over time will pay dividends especially by reducing the urge to multitask, the ultimate productivity killer.

What are some strategies that have helped you increase your productivity? Let us know by commenting below!

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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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