Greetings friends. Wow, it has been a whirlwind of activity here on my end….so much to talk about.
I recently picked up a personal development & productivity book by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog” and it has been a life changer.
My most productive periods in life have been when I have essentially focused on something and allowed the rest of life to fall apart. Yet, I somehow would feel guilty when I did that. For example, when I dove into solo acoustic guitar I simply let EVERYTHING else fall apart.
And, I find that I have returned to my standard M.O. of feeling overwhelmed and spending my days taking care of little tasks trying to “put out little fires “. The problem is – the feeling of overwhelment and the hyper activity of taking care of little tasks like email, phone calls, laundry end up happening instead of the 2 most important things – practice guitar and organize gigs!
Brian Tracy’s message is unique – you can never get it all done, so do the big important stuff and just let the little stuff fall apart. WOW. In hindsight, I saw that’s what I have done in my most productive periods.
According to him – the most successful people have the ability to figure out which action is the most important to do at any given time. You may find you have “10 to-do’s” on you to-do list – but ONE action will be TEN TIMES as productive as the other 9.
He calls this “eating the biggest, ugliest frog first”.
Let’s see if you can spot the most productive task.
Go To Cleaners
Buy Cat Food
Sew Hole in Shorts
****SEND CD TO MAGAZINE FOR REVIEW ****
Go To Post Office
Send email to dad
He approaches this basic premise from many different angles. I am reading, re-reading and highlighting.
How often I find myself getting stuck in the B.S. tasks!!!
Allow me to share a personal story. For years, I have had a dedicated web server. Yep, I was a hobbyist programmer / web geek designer and would do the occasional site for friends / family and then host them for a few bucks a month.
Well, multiply that by about 15 friends and before I knew It – I was accountable to 15 people. I’m a nice guy, have a hard time saying no – and I can’t tell you how much guitar playing got pre-empted due to being in charge of this server.
Most of the time, the thing ran fine – and I had months and months where I did not have to think about it – but nonetheless, it was there.
Recently I had to decide (since I was in need of an upgrade) to keep it or not. After reading “Eat That Frog” I realized that the low-level, unproductive task of all the talking, energy, emails TOOK THE SAME TIME that a VERY productive task such as writing music or recording does.
From the book – “RULE: Don’t spend time doing something very well that needn’t be done at all”.
So this was and is a big “letting go”. Silly as it sounds, I had to admit that I like the feeling of controlling the server and of being the “go to” guy for people. Time to let go – and really decide what activities will accomplish my goals and what won’t.
And yes, I remember being on tour in Vienna years ago doing web tech support across the Atlantic right before a gig. Ridiculous!!! Well, I am proud to say that I have made the right choice now – and I urge you to do the same so that you may reach your goals.
Eat the big frogs FIRST, not the little ones.
I highly recommend this book if you feel that anything I have said here resonates with you!!!!