Ringing in the New Year is one of those times that are both exciting and intimidating for me. My mind begins to wander with all of the potential that a fresh start can bring and a sense of relief that, though there were plenty of bumps along the road over the last 365 days, I have accomplished a lot and am in a position to start this chapter better equipped to overcome what life will present. However, I am a perfectionist by nature and am often overcome by the fear that I may ruin this perfect blank book that sits before me. Working towards your goals and becoming the best that you can be will undoubtedly result in a few scratches, coffee stains or flat out mistakes (gasp!). Isn’t that what life is all about?
Every day, I see entrepreneurs striving to achieve the most that they can. There are so many options, decisions, and tasks to complete that it is nearly impossible to know where to begin. If you are anything like me, you try to complete as much as possible in a day and have a natural tendency to tackle the fastest items first. Who doesn’t like to perform the rewarding act of scratching something off of their “To-Do List”, let alone multiple items before they need to refill their morning coffee? What if I challenged you to complete your most challenging task first thing this morning?
Mark Twain said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” I was first introduced to this quote years ago, thought that the idea was nice, and left it at that. As a New Year begins and I have evaluated the multitude of items that I need to or want to get done, this quote popped into my mind and this time it has stuck! When I am faced with a new task, I add it to my list, but now I am remaining focused on the frog, the most important item. This process has provided me with a calming sense that my time is being spent on the most valuable task which will have the most significant outcome. Not all frogs are the most time consuming item though. It is often the most dreaded task that you have to do, however, for some reason or another, you just do not want to do it. It could be talking to an upset client or an underachieving employee. It could be the pile of paperwork that will never file itself, or setting up that meeting that could take your business to the next level.
I challenge you to take the time right now to determine your largest frog and then do nothing else until you have eaten that frog! The sense of accomplishment will carry you through the rest of your day and I would bet that you will have a very rewarding and successful day. Continue this daily tradition with me and see how much you will accomplish in 2015. Happy New Year!