This week’s post was challenging to start.

What topic do I focus on?
I didn't just have one topic. I had several!

I wrote a draft for one topic then another one seemed more relevant. Then I just couldn't decide.
Perhaps the topic of the day should be FOCUS? How to get things done?

It is like this some days. You get up and you know there are several things on your to-do list and as the day goes on you find yourself doing items that are not on that list at all.
Why is this?  
You could spend time trying to figure out why but it's more important that you are noticing.
Now, what are you going to do about it?

Beat yourself up because you got nothing accomplished?
Scrap the list?
Look at the list and revise it?
Choose to focus on just one item on the list and set yourself up for accomplishment?

We have probably carried out some combination of these responses. If I focus on my feelings after I have carried them out, some are definitely more beneficial than others.

A few strategies came to mind while writing. One is what I call the Timer Method and the other Eating the Frog Method

Timer Method

Sometimes it is difficult to start a task because we anticipate that it is going to take too much time. Time, that we believe we do not have.  

So to start writing this newsletter/blog piece, I sat at the kitchen table, set the timer for 30 mins and turned on some binaural beats music to play in the background and told myself just write about the topic for 30 mins.
My intention was to just start writing by putting thoughts down on paper. No editing, just writing.

The time limit was essential.

Sitting down to write to completion, edit and post in one sitting seemed daunting. Breaking the task down to get started seemed much more doable.  

All I had to do is write for 30mins.
What was accomplished was accomplished and I could continue or stop and return to it later.

If I chose to go past the 30-mins in the first sitting, I made the conscious choice to reset the timer.

How can setting the timer be helpful to you?

You need to return phone calls, set the timer and get off the phone when the time is up.
You need to send or return emails, set the timer and stop when the time is up.
Need to organize that closet, set the timer and stop when the time is up.

I frequently hear I do not have the time to workout, so how could the timer method be applied to your fitness routine?
Set your timer- even for 10mins.
Do some
  • Knee-lifts
  • squats
  • Wall pushups,
  • Situps,  
  • Forward lunges,
  • Back lunges
  • and .......

The point is just keeping moving until the timer goes off. You can dance if you want to.
If it feels good you can reset the timer.

The timer can be set for shorter or longer time frames. Work until the timer stops.
Take pride in what you accomplished and move on.

If you want to continue, consciously reset the timer and keep going until the timer stops.
Remember you will reach your goal by taking baby steps each and every day.
No leaps and bounds are necessary!

Eat the Frog

Mark Twain is credited for saying, "If it is your job to eat a frog, it is best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it is your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first."

Translation: Identify the most important item or the most likely to procrastinate item on your to-do list, and get it done first thing in the morning.
If you eat your frog first thing in the morning the rest of your day will seem easy by comparison.

What might eating the frog look like?
If you are looking for employment  it might mean,
  • Make the connection calls,
  • Send out the resume

At work, it may mean having a difficult conversation with a supervisor or

Staying with the fitness example it would mean getting the workout out of the way in the morning. You could use the 10-min timer method to eat your frog.

For me, it means identifying what my frogs are and ensuring that I complete them by noon the next day. When I go into work I know I have tasks to complete and things happen but I schedule my frog on my calendar to get it done before noon.

If you need to eat a frog it is best not to look at it too long. The longer you look at it or think about it the less motivated you become.
Just take action.

If you anticipate your frog will take time, remember you are working on a task, not a project. You may have to break your to-do list item down to the tasks involved. The task that will get you closer to finishing the project.

If you can’t eat the frog, try a tadpole.

Remember don’t confuse activity with productivity. You will know the difference.
You will feel busy but you will continue to feel the burden of the ‘frog’. Your most important task will be left undone.

"Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to
where you want to be tomorrow."

Here's to eating your frogs,
Movement is Magic!

Nancy Smith
Vibrant You Coaching
"Faith, Focus, Finish"
Sent to:
Vibrant You Health Coaching, 2201 Palmer Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801, United States
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