Reading has become much more of a daily activity for me in the past year with less on the hectic commutes & after work meetings. One of the best books I’ve read that has stuck with me is ‘Eat that frog” by the business consultant Brian Tracy.

The key message is to identify the most important task – the one with the greatest consequences – and do that first each day. He compares this to eating a frog, the biggest challenge, or frog to eat, is best to get out of the way first and by comparison everything else in your day will be easier.

My philosophy prior to trying this has always been to complete some of the easier tasks early on so you feel like you are achieving something and get on a roll. While I thought that had worked well for me, the danger I spotted was I tended to focus too much on the easy tasks for quick wins and the most important ones were being pushed back, ‘oh I’ll do that tomorrow’ satisfied I had achieved enough today.

Also if you have more than one frog to eat, make sure you eat the ugliest one first!

10 Practical Time Management tips from Eat that Frog

1. Set the table and clearly write your goals and objectives.
2. Plan every day in advance by thinking on paper.
3. Apply the 80/20 rule to everything and focus on the top 20%.
4. Consider the consequences of not doing your biggest projects.
5. Do the most difficult task first.
6. Practice the ABCDE method of prioritising your tasks
7. Identify the bottlenecks that are holding you back and resolve them.
8. Slice and dice the task into smaller pieces.
9. Develop a sense of urgency.
10. Single handle every task, set priorities and complete before moving on.
Produced by:
John Murphy, Director, CINQ Partnership