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Eat the Frogs First – A Guide to Prioritizing

Written by Craig Childs
Craig is an editor and web developer who writes about happiness and motivation at Lifehack
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WOWNDADI wrote an article about a particular line of thinking in regards to prioritizing the tasks in your day.

The idea is to do put each task into one of four categories:

  • 1. Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.
  • 2. Things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do.
  • 3. Things you want to do and actually need to do.
  • 4. Things you want to do, but actually don’t need to do.

Simply put, you want to do the things you need to do but don’t want to do first. This way you’ve done the ‘worst’ thing already and are happier to do the other tasks by comparison.

Things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do. These are the ‘Frogs’. The ugly, distasteful things that need to be done, but tend not to. You aren’t motivated to do them, leaving them victim to procrastination. Frogs need structure around them to ensure that they actually get done. Create the motivation to make them happen, either by transforming them into something desirable or by making them subordinate to a strong habit. Eating your frog at the start of the day is just such a habit, but it is even better. Making sure frogs are the first thing that gets done leaves you free to do the things that you enjoy doing. The habit creates an inherent reward. Either way, give yourself a reward for eating the frogs, otherwise they will just sit there watching you and croaking! “If you have to eat a live frog, it does not pay to sit and look at it for a very long time!”

So I guess the order for the four types of tasks would go 2, 3, 4, and then 1. Would you agree?

Watch out for the frogs! – [WOWNDADI]

Featured photo credit: freddie marriage via unsplash.com

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