Eat your frog
Just like my advice to modify your diet wasn't about changing your eating habits, this post is not encouraging you to travel to faraway lands and try the local cuisine. Rather, it's about taking a cue from famous author Brian Tracy, who popularized this concept in his book Eat That Frog.
There’s an old saying that says, “If the first thing you do when you wake up each morning is eat a live frog, nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day.” Because if you eat that first, it’ll give you energy and momentum for the rest of the day. But if you don’t, if you let him sit there on the plate while you do a hundred unimportant things, it can drain your energy and you won’t even know it.
Learning about this concept changed the way I thought about less-than-pleasant tasks. I've learned to do the dreaded task first, to get it done and be energized by the accomplishment. It's a great way to be kind to my future self.
This is an even more powerful concept when you pair it with finding an accountability partner. A former co-worker and I would do this – we'd say, “I’m eating a frog tomorrow. I’m going to finally figure out why the accounts aren't reconciled.” And then we hold each other to it, helping by not interrupting, and then checking in after 30 minutes or an hour to see how the project is progressing.
Is there a frog on your to-do list? A phone call you've been procrastinating? Some research you have to do? A bill you have to pay? A tough conversation you need to have?
Remember, if you can't face it, you can't fix it.
So identify the frog and set yourself up to tackle it first thing.