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Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete. “Failure to execute” is one of the biggest problems in organizations today. Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. They talk continually, hold endless meetings, and make wonderful plans, but in the final analysis, no one does the job and gets the results required.
For this reason, and perhaps more than ever before, your ability to select your most important task at each moment, and then to get started on that task and get it done both quickly and well, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop. An average person who develops the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but who gets very little done.
It has been said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life, your business, and results. The first rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.
This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else. Think of this as a test. Treat it like a personal challenge. Resist the temptation to start with the easier task. Continually remind yourself that one of the most important decisions you make each day is what you will do immediately and what you will do later, if you do it at all.
Pam Hargis is a business-performance specialist, with 30 plus years’ leadership experience with a fortune 100 company and more than five years as a business and professional growth and accountability coach. She focuses on strategic planning and process development, sales leadership, flawless execution, operational success, exit strategy, and employee satisfaction. Her mission is to guide you to bring forth new possibilities never imagined. Eliminating uncertainty, stress, and frustration. Achieving balance in your life and having clarity to take action. And that's only the beginning … you will experience freedom … the joy you seek and thrive.