We’ve all heard the saying, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” but how many of you really live by it? My guess is that while we all may have good intentions, we are all prone to procrastination at times— some more than others. Why, you may ask, is that? We are all complex human beings. Often times, our daily activities can seem overwhelming and get in the way of what we truly would like to accomplish. When this happens, our feelings often take over and can stop us from doing what we truly desire. So how can get around this? The answer is actually pretty simple…take one step at a time.
In fact, Brian Tracy, Professional Speaker, Best Selling Author, & Entrepreneur explains the concept with a metaphor. He asks, “‘How do you eat an elelphant?’ The answer is, ‘one bite at a time.’ This can be applied to any goal. You accomplish it one step, one task, one measure at a time. He also talks about eating your frog, which is about tackling your most important, daunting tasks, and getting them done. Brian’s main point is that you eat your most ugliest frog first, the next ugliest, and so on, until all your frogs are done. When you ‘eat your frog,’ you feel empowered, happier, energized and are more productive.”¹
Robert Emmons, in his book, Thanks, tells us “to go through the motions and do it now, and the feeling will come.” ² Have you ever felt overwhelmed by doing a task, but went ahead with it anyway and then felt a sense of relief after, even if you didn’t complete it? Brian Tracy explains this as “‘Slice and Dice.’ You can cut a big task down to size with the ‘Salami slice’ method. Basically you lay out the task in detail and resolve to just one slice of the job for the time being.”³
What have you been putting off that you want to do? Perhaps you want to clean up your garage, so you can park your car inside during the winter months? So take that first step. Fold up that ladder. Get some boxes to organize your garden tools or other stuff. Hang up your bike and keep going until your space is uncluttered.
If you want to start eating better, again take that first step. Go to the grocery store and try shopping the perimeter of the store only. There you will find most things that you need to incorporate a healthier diet including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Shopping this way will help you avoid processed foods, which are often loaded with artificial ingredients, additives and sugar. When you get home, go to your pantry and get rid of any processed foods that you know are unhealthy and want to avoid.
If you want to add more exercise to your day, vow to take a walk after work. Change into those sweats and tennis shows and get yourself out the door. If you like going to a gym, pack your gym bag ahead and take it with you to work. That way you will be prepared and less likely to make an excuse for not going.
So what are you waiting for? Make sure you take that first action step and keep going.
Thanks for reading!
¹Tracy, Brian. Eat That Frog. A book Summary. http://www.super-super.com/hpe152/page11/page16/page17/files/frog2P.pdf
2 Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—Thanks. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/Thanks, pg. 5
²Tracy, Brian. Slice and Dice The Task. http://www.briantracy.com/blog/leadership-success/slice-and-dice-the-task/