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One Simple Way to Reduce Procrastination

Here´s a tip I picked up a few years ago when I used to sell computers and cell-phones.

One of the managers told us that each work-day you should start with doing the hardest, the toughest and worst thing first.

Maybe it was calling a customer and telling them that their computer wouldn´t be fixed within a week like we had said, but in three weeks. Well, often it was something like that. Making phone-calls or doing things that wasn’t much fun.

But if you did it then it was done. And you didn´t have to spend the rest of the day worrying about it.

If I didn´t do it right away – which I of course often didn´t :) – then it would hang over me a like a gloomy rain-cloud that just grew bigger and bigger as the day went on. And the negative feelings would build up to the point that I would put the task of until the very end of the day or even the next day.

Last summer I was reminded of this tip when I read Brian Tracy´s Eat That Frog!. In the book he outlines 21 tips for overcoming procrastination and goes on to say that we all have one or a few frogs – often unpleasant tasks – that we have to swallow each day. But if you can at least eat it early in the day you don´t have to spend the day watching the frog burping and jumping around before you eat it.

I am still pretty inconsistent with swallowing my frogs early but when I do I feel relaxed and become quite productive for the rest of the day. I have found that when you´ve started with swallowing the frog you not only get a boost for your self-esteem but also that the rest of the tasks that day often seem pretty easy to get done.

I think that developing this into a daily habit could be very useful to reduce procrastination overall and to raise motivation and productivity. So I shall try to make it a habit of swallowing my frogs early in the day.

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