By Erica Olsen
Action Without Planning is the Cause of Every Failure

Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done, Brian Tracy, world-renowned time management expert reminds us of that. His best-selling book Eat That Frog pays homage to that old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day. Tracy uses “eat the frog” as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day – the one on which you are most likely to procrastinate, but also probably the one that can most impact your life.

You would probably recognize a lot of the time management ideas and practices listed below (which are summarized from Tracy’s book), but he manages to reformulate and present them as part of a logical sequence that is easy to follow yet encourages disciplining yourself to stay at the task through completion.

Clear written goals will motivate you, and we couldn’t agree more. Only 3% of adults have clear written goals. Couldn’t you use an edge over 97% of the population?

Here’s the time-tested formula for setting and achieving goals:

  1. Write it down. Give that goal tangible form. Otherwise it’s just a fantasy.
  2. Set a deadline on your goal and sub-deadlines if necessary.
  3. Make a list of everything you can think of that you must do to achieve that goal.
  4. Organize your list into a plan. Organize by priority and in sequence. Make it as a flow chart.
  5. Take action on your plan immediately. Execution is everything.
  6. Resolve to do something every day that moves you to achieving your goal.
Take the time to carefully choose your goals and success measures now to save time in the long run and accelerate your overall strategy.