Well, I guess I should’ve seen it coming. Maybe you’re smarter than me and notice it straight away. Here’s how it went.
We were doing great on our productivity experiments. I’d eaten several frogs the day before, and was ready for a big one. This is what I wrote on the Facebook page: “Mine’s a biggie, it’s been growing for months. It’ll be gone for noon, that’s my promise.” My task looked a little like this:
After posting my message, I got to work. I did a little something of this, and a little something of that. I kept thinking of what I should be doing instead. Dreading it, because… well, you can see what this frog looked like. Finally, when it was almost noon, I jumped from my chair. I got working on my frog, fast.
And I did it! The frog was gone before noon. It turned out to be a friendly little animal, a helpful one even. Not the monster I had turned it into…
A few days later, when I was enjoying the results, it dawned upon me… The technique doesn’t simply say eat the frog, it says eat the frog FIRST. I conveniently forgot that when I thought it was a toad.
(If you want to leave a reply, the button is at the top, left side of the page. I dont’ have a clue how I can move it to a more logical position. Sorry!)
A typical reaction to eating a frog is this:
I’m STUPID. I could have done this ages ago. I SHOULD have done this ages ago!
It looks like internal shouting. And it is. A punitive voice that tells you you’re no good. Again..
Criticism doesn’t work
Emotion lies behind every almost form of procrastination. Fear of failure and fear of not being good enough are common examples. What the critical voice does, is feed these fears. It takes a success you’ve just created, and turns it into proof that you’re a quack.
Inner berating leads to more procrastination, not less.
Each time you get something done that you procrastinated on, reward yourself. Acknowledge yourself for getting over yourself. Celebrate that YOU DID IT. Create physical rewards: a nice cup of coffee of tea, reading the newspaper, going out for a walk. The bigger your challenge was, the bigger the reward you create.
Your typical reaction to eating a frog, may become this:
I’d love to hear your response to this post. What you do reward yourself with? Or what keeps you from rewarding yourself? Or how about this: acknowledge yourself publicly. Now that’s a challenge… 🙂 The reply button is on the top left side of this post.
I’m having loads of fun with my new Facebook group, called htts://www.facebook.com/groups/productivityexperiments/ I started the group because each time I saw an interesting method, my response was the same: interesting, I should try that out one time. But I never did…
So now the group is experimenting with a classic called Eat the frog. It comes down to identifying the thing on your to do list that your most likely to procrastinate on, and do that first. I’ll include a link to a brilliant video about it at the bottom of this page. First the results.
The good thing is, it works! Several people in the group got things done that they normally don’t, and a few of us had a lot more fun of doing it by being in this group.
Some drawbacks too… I identified a load of frogs, and got working on them. The technique never told me to do as many as I could, that was my own take on it. It resulted in a boring, discouraging day with nothing but frogs. And in the end some new things turned into frogs because I didn’t pay attention to them.
My tip? Don’t eat all your frogs at once…
More tips on this technique on my next blog. For now, if you don’t know the technique, watch this: http://youtu.be/0W7GB5Fh2XM