One of my favorite productivity and personal achievement experts is Brian Tracy. If you need help getting your ducks in a row, he's your guy. He did to personal achievement what Carl Sagan did to science -- made it inspiring, relevant and easy to understand.
A few years ago, Mr. Tracy wrote a book called Eat that Frog. In the book, the frog represents the task in your day that is the most daunting and the most dreadful. It's the uncomfortable conversation you need to initiate. It's the 5 mile run. It's the proposal you need to finish. It's the clutter that needs organizing.
In short, the frog is that one thing that despite weighing you down the most, has been demoted to the bottom of your list. And though you know crossing it off will instantly make you feel better about everything you do, you still put if off.
So mr. Tracy's advice is simple: Eat the frog, and do it first thing in the morning (or at least before you sidetrack yourself with a shiny object like facebook). In other words, do your most dreaded task first, so that everything else in your day will be a breeze compared what you've already accomplished.
Can you identify your frog?
Whether you're a self-proclaimed chronic procrastinator, or you simply want to improve your productivity, this is an effective habit to start. Rather than stuffing your most challenging task away in some corner and allowing it to impact the quality of your day, take care of it right away.
Finding your frog is easy.
When you're staring at that to-do list, underline the three items you need to accomplish most. Out of those three, identify the most important. Circle it. Own it.
Like many things that act as road blocks in our lives, procrastination is a habit that was learned, and therefor can be unlearned. While there are more ways to shake procrastination, finding and eating your frog is a great place to start. It is said that 20 percent of our tasks carry 80 percent of the weight. So if you can learn to find that one thing that is weighing you down most and take care of it early, you'll be well on the way to a more productive you.