In today’s work from home productivity tips, we will look at doing your worst job first…aka eating that frog.
In the words of Mark Twain “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day”.
Mr. Twain did not advocate eating an actual living frog. Instead, his statement refers to taking the worst task that you have to do, or the one you procrastinate the most with, and doing it first thing to get it out of the way.
This post was originally published June 7th, 2017 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.
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Work From Home Productively
If you want to obtain your goals in a set amount of time, getting organized is key. You can do this by creating rules for yourself to follow.
Related Post: How To Set Goals In 5 Easy Steps
This will allow you to keep producing content on a regular basis, while still having time for the rest of your life.
As you write out your goals and give them timelines for completion, you may encounter things that you must do but do not want to.
This post is about tackling that thing. Procrastination is disaster to success.
Why Are We Eating The Frog First Thing?
New bloggers have so much to learn and so much to work on in the first year. It can be easy to get into a production rut of doing things that don’t impact your bottom line.
If you are not sure if you are focusing on the right tasks, it’s best to set goals.
This way you can check things off, knowing that they move your blog/website forward.
Tasks that help to improve ROI (return on investment) are:
- Producing content, especially long form content
- Updating and republishing outdated content
- Applying SEO to content/pins/social media
- Finding traffic sources
- Starting and nurturing an email list
Tasks that do not improve ROI:
- Checking Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/other Social Media
- Checking/sorting email
- Not prioritizing ROI tasks (procrastinating)
- Editing while writing
- Not publishing on a set schedule
- Not setting goals or organizing your to-do list for ROI
A great place to start is to write out which critical tasks you need to do for your business.
Then create a plan for each week so that you are working on revenue producing tasks first.
If you need to write your blog posts first thing, because that is when your brain works best, schedule that task for the start of your day. Conversely, if you work better in the afternoon, block out 2 hours in your planner to get ‘er done.
Doing tasks related to building your business website will help you to see progress and keep you from more procrastination.
As you work towards creating a workable schedule of tasks, be sue to schedule time for your time wasters, like social media feeds. Schedule it for your break time.
This lets you have a bit of fun while staying on track. win-win.
FYI: Why Multitasking Wastes Time
Ever since the word “multi tasking” arrived on the scene, people have been using it to describe how efficient they are. But they just think they’re more efficient.
This is basically bunk.
The human brain can only hold on to 5 to 9 things at once. Trying to do multiple tasks at once means that all the tasks are done less efficiently.
You actually spend more time playing “catch up” for each task,. #timewaster
A great way to prove this point comes from Avik at Harvard Business review. Step right up and test your skills at multi-tasking!
This explains why it is so easy to waste valuable work time by checking in on your social media feed.
Being productive means blocking out chunks of time and focusing on just that one task.
Get it done and move on to the next.
Don’t work on tasks just for the sake of doing them. Work only on what matters most to your online success.
How Do I Identify The Frog?
Your frog is not the most difficult or disliked task.
It is the task that causes you to procrastinate.
Completing this task will give a productive result and keep you moving forward, so if you do not get it done, you will be at a standstill in this area.
Set aside an amount of time to deal with your frog, and then get to it. Once the task is done, the rest of the day will be easier. If you have two tasks, start with the one that is harder, more important, or bigger.
Maybe for you, your frog is keyword research.
In this case, on Monday morning, pull up a document of your posting ideas and then a blank doc for research.
Research the keywords that you need for at least 2 to 4 posts. Then look on Google to see who is using your post title and what they have to say. Who is your competition for this keyword? Make your post better, longer, and more detailed.
This is important research and can give you the ideas for your post! Leave your doc on your desktop, so you can access it all week while writing posts.
Related Post: Easy Keyword Research For Beginners
Getting this one out of the way is a great way to start your day!
How To Eat Your frog
This is a habit meant to get you out of your comfort zone and put you in control of your websites productivity. It will not take long to crush your procrastination if you set up a process to bypass it.
Do this by scheduling important tasks.
Write them in a planner, use Google calendar, or try a productivity app like Trello. Thankfully, we are not the only people procrastinating these days and there are plenty of productivity tools available, many for free.
Tweak this habit to fit your life, and to show yourself where you are procrastinating.
Sometimes we have a fear of success, or fear of failure. It is good to force our fears to the surface so that we can eliminate them.
Because if you don’t crush them the fears will come back.
Related Post: 5 Easy Ways To Eliminate Fear of Success
Choose your frog, write it down on paper, and start working on it first thing in the morning. Get it out of the way before anything else!
By taking care of the most challenging task at the start of the day, you not only take care of it with a clear mind, but you also develop a good habit, and these can be hard to establish.
They also are the most rewarding.
Time block your productive tasks into your planner, giving yourself enough time to complete them.
It may help to write them into your planner on Sunday, so that you’re ready to go on Monday morning. Use whatever amount of time that you need to block out, and try to complete within that time frame.
When the time is up, stop that task and move to the next.
If you know a task will take longer, block out time several days in a row or every week until it is completed.
For example, block out 8 am to 10 am, Monday to Friday, to maintain a regular publishing schedule:
- Monday – Research blog content
- Tuesday – Find appropriate keywords
- Wednesday – Create post graphics
- Thursday – Finalize post
- Friday – Publish
Use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix
If you are overwhelmed by all of the things that you “should” do, try this rule that former president of the USA, Dwight D Eisenhower used.
He said “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent”.
- Important – urgent: do it now
- Important – not urgent: choose a time to do it
- Urgent – not important: delegate it
- Not urgent – not important: delete it.
As you get used to the “eat your frog first” way of productivity, it will become more streamlined.
You will get faster at researching and quicker at creating graphics.
Use the time to do other productive tasks.
Or take the afternoon off. You deserve it!
Successful people have the habits of successful people, including doing things they may not like but that will help them to succeed.
By focusing on one task and not trying to multi-task, you will get one thing done well.
The satisfaction of having achieved your task will release feel-good chemicals into your brain which will help you to stay motivated, focused and productive to achieve more.
Do you have any comments about this post? Please leave a message in the comments box below; I love to hear from you and if you have any suggestions for future posts, please mention them!
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