Should you eat a frog?
I once read that the best way to start your day was to eat a frog, you would know that the worst part of your day was over and done with and you could get on with the more interesting or enjoyable stuff.
I used to sign up to this way of thinking, get the hard job done first thing and then you could concentrate on all the other things that you found easy to do. This is great if you are in a space where others dictate what you need to do or you have to have difficult conversations on a regular/daily basis. This is not so great when you need to be self-motivated and/or the hardest thing you have to do all day is not the most important.
I am a big advocate of starting the day with the most important thing you need to do to progress your strategy/vision/[enter buzzword here], but if that is going to take you longer than 1 day that is not always feasible.
I like to read articles and books that encourage me to become more productive. As an organised, planning, habit building freak, a tweak here or there can make a difference (well at least in my head!). Many of these now look at how you need to manage your energy and creativity, not necessarily your time. As someone who creates and manages my own schedule, I have learned that this is much more important. You only have a finite amount of energy in a day and every decision, task or conversation lowers that total.
So how does this now fit into the eating of frogs. I have somehow meshed both managing my creativity and eating my frog. Firstly, I don’t have to eat a frog very often anymore. I am now in a situation where I do things that boost my energy and creativity not in one that saps my soul and makes me do tasks I don’t believe in. This is a major benefit to getting stuff done.
Secondly, every activity that may take a lot of energy (hard or easy) that I need to do for my own strategy/vision/[enter buzzword here] is scheduled in advance, having taken into account when I have the best energy to do certain tasks.
Early mornings for starting things from scratch, late mornings for wordsmithing/editing/ honing and sending well thought out emails, after lunch for problem solving and more tangible thinking, later afternoon for tidy up and planning.
Working out my energy schedule has been one of the best things I have been able to do and my time management now takes on a different rhythm that involves my whole life, not one that compartmentalises work. Becoming a rounded free range human has been an interesting journey
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