Use the “eat the frog” strategy. According to our product expert, one way to begin your work day is better than all the others.
How can you choose what to do first at work, so your day is productive and not procrastinatory? Some people start with a small list to feel motivated and get things done quickly.
Some people rely on “eating a frog” or promptly getting rid of something challenging and unpleasant before they get too much.
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While both strategies are correct and suitable, there are some things you must do first to ensure a productive day.
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#1. Note down what you need to do.
Whatever you plan to do first in your life, it is best to start writing down what you want to accomplish today. Could you write it down? It’s not enough to think about it in your head. It needs to be written down.
It can be written on paper, in an app for to-do lists, or shared with colleagues in a chat app. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a given period if you take the time to write down your goals.
You should write five tasks on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. You will see that you must repeat one or two functions each day starting Thursday. You could reduce the number of lessons you write to three.
You’ll soon know how much work you can accomplish in a few days. Although every task may not be the same size, I will explain that most lessons take approximately the same time.
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#2. Why not write it down?
Why should you write your daily tasks as your day’s first task? This forces you to think about more than one task. Instead of focusing on one study, you will ask yourself: “How can I get all this done today?”
It would be best if you also wrote down your plans to keep to them. It is common to go back to the list I made in the morning after completing a task or become distracted. It’s an easy way to reorient yourself.
#3.Be more strategic
Which task takes the most effort and energy? Which job takes the most time? What lessons can be put off for tomorrow, and which should be completed today?
These questions will help you make an informed decision about which task should be completed first. If you have low energy, the most straightforward task might be saved for the end.
You might have had a stormy night’s rest, so start small jobs today to make yourself more alert and ready to tackle more challenging tasks later. Every day will bring a new answer.
You will need to be more flexible if you insist on doing the most straightforward or complex job first. It is essential to write down all your tasks and then evaluate them.
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#4. It is essential to describe and size.
The description is essential when you write down your goals and objectives. This is the same thing as creating a to-do list. You can accomplish your task if it is transparent and manageable.
It would be best if you were precise for projects that could take months or even years, such as writing a book. It is too general to say that you will work on the book for two hours. What will you do?
Will you research, write, and edit? What chapter will you be working on? Which section will you focus on? It is also helpful to determine a time block for yourself depending on what you do.
The combination of time for my work is anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours. An article-length editing task takes me about 45 minutes. A first draft of an article can take up to three hours.
Because a task can take up to three hours, I won’t write it down. It’s too large and must be broken down into smaller tasks. Lessons that last less than 45 minutes are not written down.
I do this if I have to remind myself to do so. For example, I might write “Follow-up with so-and-so about X” but not “archive my works from October 2022.” Some tasks are optional or minor. Others may need a reminder.
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#5. Add an element of accountability.
Every member of my team at PCMag posts a Slack message each morning outlining the work they are working on.
Although we use shorthand and don’t include much detail, there is an added benefit to sharing what you want to do: accountability. It is funny how accountability works.
Telling someone what you’ll do makes you a little more accountable, even though they won’t call you out. You will also notice how much you have accomplished if you do it for several consecutive days.
It can be not easy to keep track of the same task day in and day out, with others reading it. Yet, you need to make progress. This is where accountability becomes self-accountability. It can ignite a spark to get going.
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#6. Get up and start the day strong. Could you keep it going all day?
Writing down your goals and objectives helps you to focus on the essential things. This principle will be similar if you are familiar with the Pomodoro Technique or focus sprints.
The idea behind both focus sprints and the Pomodoro Technique is that you can only concentrate if you know what you want to focus on.
You can choose the right task for you by writing down some things and then deciding which one to focus on. This will depend on many factors, such as how tired you are, how urgent or tight the deadlines are, what distractions you have at the time, etc.
You can also return to your list for more productivity throughout the day, even after you have completed the first task.
It doesn’t matter what job you tackle first to make your day productive. It’s about strategizing and writing down your results.