Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Eat That Frog - Brian Tracy

After your have kissed the frog now eat it, says Brian Tracy. But much as the idea may seem repelling, the content of the book is not. Here he gives 21 sutras that will help make work much more productive. No doubts about it.

Brian starts by talking of the power of written goals (glad he did) and, the need to ask if one does not know how to go about things. Let us now get to the meat of the matter.

1) Clarity of goal
It is the most important thing. Know what you want, where you are going. His secret formula is - decide, write, set deadline, list, plan, act, monitor everyday. On your goal that is.

2) Plan in advance everyday
List unaccomplished tasks for the next day, apply the rule of 10/90 mts i.e. 10 % of the time spent planning saves 90% time while doing it. Do tasks by priority.

3) Use the Pareto principle
The 80/20 rule, the Vital few versus  the Trivial many
Writ down the 20% vital few, do not succumb to temptation to work on the 80%
List the 20/80, do the 20 first.

4) Consider the consequences
Long term perspective helps. Delay gratification. Sacrifice short term. Pick tasks that move you forward

3 Questions for productivity -
What are the high value activities?
What can I and only i do that if done well will make a real difference?
What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
Which one project if I did well would have the greatest positive consequence in my work and my personal life?

5) Practice creative procrastination
Don't bother yourself with small tasks

6) Use the ABCDE method
Make a list of all jobs on paper.
Categorise them into A,B,C,D,E. Focus on the most important.
Should versus Must.

6) Focus on Key Result Areas
Why am I here?
Break down job into 5- 7 key result areas. Must get completely responsible, accountable.

Big 7 in management - planning, staffing, delegating, supervising, measuring and reporting
Clarity if important. Grade yourself on each KRA.
Poor performance produces procrastination.
As yourself - What one skill if I developed and did it in excellent fashion, would have the greatest effect on my career?
Become excellent in your key results.

7) Apply the Law of 3
Identify 3 core tasks. List everything you did over a course of a week or a month.
If you could do only one thing which could contribute the greatest value to your company what would that be?

90% value comes from the 3 tasks. Everything else is either a support task or a complimentary task. that can be delegated or downsized.

Double your contribution, double your pay - there's a nice story of one of Brian's participants being a live example and how she achieved a double of salary and free time by practising this rule.

Quick list method - 3 most important goals of your life.
30 seconds, 3 - career, health, relationships, social, professional

I like what he said about work. - Work all the time you work. Head down. Start early. Work late.

8) Prepare thoroughly before you begin
Make comfortable work space. Be prepared in advance.
Get on the job. Start work.
Launch forward. Your dreams.Get 80% right."You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Behave like a pro!

10) Take it one barrel at a time
One step at a time.
A cute Sahara desert story. 500 miles the desert is crossed on the basis of two barrels, one ahead and one behind, where you are never too far away.

11) Upgrade your skills
Feeling of inadequacy, lack of confidence come from inability in key area.
Upgrade. Get better at key tasks.
3 steps to mastery - read, courses, seminars on key skills
Listen to audios in car

12) Leverage your special talents
USP - What are you good at? Do well? Easily?
What you got compliments for?

13) Identify Key Constraints
What's holding you back? Identify the limiting factor?
80% are internal factors. 20% are external.

14) Put Pressure On Yourself
Lead the field, create the imaginary deadlines. Put pressure on yourself to achieve.

15) Maximise your personal pace
Overwork is underproductive. Find your pace. Sleep. Take vacations. Keep Sunday off to rejuvenate. Guard physical health.
Ask yourself
What should I do more of?
What should I do less of?
What should I start doing?
What should I stop doing?

16) Motivate yourself into action
Be your own cheerleader, coach yourself.
be on top of your game.
Have a positive mental attitude.
Optimistic people are more effective. Look for good, seek lessons in setbacks, look for solutions in every problem, think and talk about goals continuously.

17) Get out of technical time sinks
Tech addicts. 23 hours saved.
Refuse to be a slave. Zones of silence. Turn off devices for a full day.

18) Slice and dice the task
Close things. Swiss cheese your tasks.

19) Create large chunks of time
Schedule chunks of time. Make every minute count.

20) Develop a sense of urgency
Action orientation is the key. Develop a sense of urgency. Bring a sense of momentum.

21) Single handle every task
Don't waste time. Non-stop work. Self-discipline, self-mastery. self-control.
Set high priority tasks and persist until it is 100% done. Become a superior person.

The book makes tremendous sense. Now to get to the priority works. I seem to be stuck in the 80%.

No comments: