Do you feel like you can't get anything done? Your to-do list remains as long as ever? You do not even have the feeling you are free to play online casino games? Try the "Eat the Frog" method.
Less procrastination, less stress, more satisfaction: it's easy with the "Eat the Frog" method (also called the "Eat that Frog" method). We reveal what's behind this philosophy and why it's a solution to procrastination.
Procrastination is pathological procrastination - and the emphasis here is on pathological, because procrastination is actually a disease by definition. People who suffer from it have major problems coping with their daily lives because they simply can't manage to complete tasks in their studies (such as handing in papers on time), in their jobs (such as meeting deadlines on projects) or in their everyday lives (including paying bills) and exhibit pathological procrastination behavior. "I'll just do that tomorrow" is the motto, however, this said tomorrow never comes, instead they keep on postponing. Procrastination in such a form can be part of a mental disorder, for example a depression, an anxiety disorder or an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Only professional psychological therapy can help against diagnosed procrastination. But in common parlance, we also refer to the widespread "procrastination" as procrastination. It is harmless from a medical point of view, but very annoying.
WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE?
People like to avoid unpleasant tasks. That is human. However, many people are not even aware that they are using avoidance tactics; it tends to happen incidentally. But when the day comes to an end and you haven't accomplished anything again, the frustration is great. Especially in jobs in which employees have to perform more and more tasks, employees often have the feeling that they are drowning in work and getting nothing done. They slave away all day, but at the end of the day they believe they have accomplished nothing at all. The impression remains that they are falling short of their (own) expectations. This is frustrating and quickly makes work seem pointless, which can even lead to burnout in the long run because there is no motivating and positive sense of achievement. In this situation, psychologists recommend the Eat the Frog method, which is considered to be particularly effective. It is suitable if you:
- have the feeling that you are not getting anything done, despite working all the time
- often put off important things and then get into a time crunch and thus into stress
- have a lot to do and don't know where to begin
- get lost in many small, but rather unimportant tasks
THE NEW METHOD
"Eat the frog." What may sound enticing to fans of French cuisine is actually an invitation to face the unpleasant. The phrase can be traced back to writer Mark Twain and his saying, "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day." The message is clear: eat the frog in the morning, because nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.
Canadian motivational coach Brian Tracey took Twain's saying and reformulated it into a popular time management method in his best-selling book "Eat that Frog." It calls for doing unpleasant things right away, preferably as early in the day as possible. The philosophy behind it: If we do unpleasant tasks first thing in the morning, we feel like we've already really accomplished something. The tedious travel expense report? The elaborate presentation? Monthly balance sheet? An email to a complicated person? Cleaning the kitchen? You'll see: As soon as you can put a checkmark on that task, tremendous satisfaction will set in. No matter what it is, grab the least attractive thing on your To Do list first thing each day and get it over with - as quickly as you can.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Make a To Do list for the day and think about which tasks from it you find particularly difficult, but are very important. Eat the Frog. You can also create a frog ranking.
Get the most unpleasant task over with as quickly as you can. The smaller frogs can follow.
Do this every day - or at least whenever a lot of tasks come at you or you get stuck with your to do list.
This method will have an immediate effect. Right after the first day with "Eat the Frog" you will be more satisfied in the evening and have the feeling that you have really moved things forward and minimized the to do list. Keep at it!