elephant projects, personal growth

Doing the Hard Part

I am working through Tsh Oxenrider's One Bite At A Time. Her book takes the seeming elephant-sized list of ideas and projects that can be part of running your household and brakes them down into bite-sized projects you can read about and start to do in a few minutes. The posts in this series are the recording of my journey through her book and the recommended projects.

Project Summary:

We all have that one thing when we get up each day that is harder to do than anything else we need to accomplish that day. OK, maybe you have more than one, but often there is one that stands out to you.

  • It could be something that is a routine part of your day, that you really don’t enjoy.
  • It could be a new habit you are trying to develop.
  • It could be a note you need to write to a friend or a call you need to make to a family member.

What ever the task may be, great or small. If it is the one thing you are dreading the most that day – it is your frog! So eat it first . . . the rest of the day will seem like a breeze once you have done so.

In her recommendations, Tsh lays out some interesting guidelines for your “frog”.

  1. It should not be a part of your normal morning routine. She classifies your morning routine as the five or so things you do ever morning no matter what day it is or what you have planned for that day. Your frog is not a part of that routine. It is what you do first after your routine is complete.
  2. Your frog is not the thing on your task list that you enjoy doing. Instead it might be the one thing that keeps getting put off, because you just don’t seem to quite get to it before the end of the day.
  3. When you make your list of “to do’s” for the day, pick the three most important. The hardest one of those three for you to do is your frog.

So what is my frog?

Well, I don’t necessarily have one for every day. It seems so often my days are filled with the normal routine things of life, not much more. Not to say though, I do have some frogs that creep into my days. Talking on the phone is not one of my most favorite things to do (I blame the fact I answered phones all day for five years in my first job out of college), so if something requires me to make a call that could make it on my “frog” list.

As I have thought about how I approach what I need to do each day, I realized that if something requires me to focus on it for an extended period of time, say more than fifteen minutes, that item could easily become my frog. With children, specifically a very interactive preschooler, around any opportunity to focus on a task for an extended period of time is rather limited. Which is a nice way of saying it does not happen, hardly ever! So maybe my frog is more the task that requires more focused attention or a longer length of time to complete. I may have only a couple a week. Still that is enough!

How do I conquer it? Eat it?

Well, it seems too simplistic to even say. I just do it! Maybe acknowledging that a particular task is a frog for me, is sometimes the biggest step to completing it. Another big part of “eating my frog”, is having someone you can brag to about it. Since I read about “Eating Your Frog” and told my husband about it, we have enjoyed commenting to each other as we complete our frogs for the day. Just knowing I’ll be able to tell him about it and he will rejoice with me and understand my comments, is sometimes motivation enough for me to finish “the frog.”

So what is your frog? Are you in the habit of “eating” it first thing each day? If so, does it make a difference in how you approach the rest of your work for the day? I would love to hear your comments below.

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