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Frogs and Tomatoes

So I didn’t work on this site last night. I read. I started reading “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy. Let’s start by saying it could have had a shorter title.

The title refers to a quote attributed to Mark Twain which basically says if you eat a frog in the morning the rest of the day will be better… since it can’t be worse. After reading all about Mr. Tracy, how he learned from experts, have read all the books on productivity and now lectures thousands of people on how to best use their time I got to the first piece of advice which was:

Tackle the hardest problem first.

He suggests starting with the most difficult task. Getting it out of the way. Then talks about the endorphins that flow into you after accomplishing something. That feeling you get that keeps you going and ready to tackle the next task.

Like the 4 hour work week and this suggestion I think some people who write this book have forgotten that most people can’t simply tackle some of the tasks they want to do like this. They have jobs, kids. They do tasks for others and, yes, it applies to all situations but not when you have little free time, not when your daily situation changes frequently and not when others make your schedule and dictate what you do. People do have to work for a living and can’t run around looking for mentors or doing activities like underwater workouts.

The Pomodoro technique is a timer you use during tasks. A way to keep you focused for short bursts of time and to keep you from being distracted. Pretty elementary but it seems that you can build a habit from it if you actually apply it. There are, of course, books and workshops you can pay for to learn more. You can also just buy a kitchen timer and try it yourself.

So, we have learned that we should tackle the hardest thing first. Let’s see how this goes.

As a side note, companies pay Brian Tracy $15,000 – $20,000 to speak. That’s quite a hefty sum and while I applaud him for the many companies who were willing to pay his fees I must say that I think motivational speakers are a waste of time and money.

Most rely on authorities or mentors and what works for one person in one situation rarely applies to all. Secondly, as is the case of the Yale University Class of 1953 study, the same shit is rehashed from one to another. The Yale study actually never existed but it has been passed as a prime example and used time after time by motivational speakers such as Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy.

People succumb to these persuasive approaches because the author/speaker makes them feel good about themselves and is offering a simple solution but it may not work and then leaves the person much less than motivated.

So am going to read and try to apply what I read. Let’s see what works and what doesn’t. I will apply what I read and learn to building this website. I, like many people, are busy. Let’s see how far I can get.

14th August 2018

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