in 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, Blogging Through Books

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Day 16 (Do the Hardest Things First)

No, no, no, no, yes, no, no, no. Okay, I’ve practiced saying no more than I say yes, so I’ve finished step 2 of yesterday’s exercise! =) In all seriousness, I did look at the activities and commitments on my plate through the end of the year, and it honestly wasn’t horrible. I think I’m doing a better job with saying no than I thought! There are a couple of things that I’m going to drop for various reasons, but otherwise, I was happy to see that this one wasn’t as bad as I thought. Now, onto today’s topic.

Oh man, this is another tough topic for me! It’s funny because I just listened to a podcast from Joyce Meyer earlier this week that had the same message. The podcast was from July or August, and it talked about getting yourself ready to face the day, and Meyer suggested doing the thing you dreaded the most first thing in the morning so it would be finished. I have such a hard time with that. I procrastinate and procrastinate on tasks I don’t want to do until I’m having to rush to do them, or until I just have to drop them and disappoint someone who was relying on it to be finished (and that someone is myself sometimes…). So, what can I do to overcome this problem?

Paine suggest two things:

1. Eat the frog first: This is based on the Mark Twain quote, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” This is also the premise of Eat That Frog, the book about discipline that I chose to read based on Day 13’s exercise. The idea is that if you do an awful task first, you’ll get it out of the way so you can enjoy your day more and be more productive and fulfilled. Also, as Paine says, you’ll have more momentum for the rest of the day.

2. Save the best for last: Reward yourself with some of the tasks you enjoy doing once you’ve accomplished your most dreaded tasks for the day. I normally operate in the exact opposite way, so this will take some getting used to but will help me become more disciplined and productive!

Today’s exercise also has two parts. First, read the article Start Your Day By Eating a Frog. Next, determine what you tend to procrastinate on and develop a plan of action for making it a first priority. This one may be ugly for me because I procrastinate on a lot of things. Eep.

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