Today I'm bringing you a writing lesson about success and to-do lists, from Brian Tracy's Eat That Frog!
First, let's consider these statements:
"People who are doing better than me are not necessarily better than me...they are only doing things better than me."
So it follows that you should "..find out what successful people do and do the same thing until you get the same results."
Right? So what is it that successful people do?
They focus single mindedly on their most important task and do it well and finish it completely. (Tracy paraphrased)
Did you know that successful completion of tasks actually triggers endorphins? You can get addicted to task completion. WOW, reaching your daily word count can be addicting. That's my kind of addiction. "When you are addicted you subconsciously start and complete more tasks and projects. You become addicted to success..."
ALWAYS WORK FROM A LIST!
Make a list of everything you have to do for the day and then categorize the list:
A- MUST DO OR FACE SERIOUS WRITING CAREER CONSEQUENCES
B-SHOULD DO OR FACE SERIOUS WRITING CAREER CONSEQUENCES
C-NICE TO DO BUT NO EFFECT ON YOUR WRITING CAREER
D-DELEGATE SO YOU CAN DO 'A'
E-CAN ELIMINATE AS NO EFFECT ON WRITING CAREER (These are habits or tasks you do simply because you enjoy them. Save them for your day off.)
Email, dear writers, is a 'B' task. You should NEVER DO a 'B' task when there is an 'A' task to do! Resist the urge to clean your desk of small tasks first.
By the way..it's time to give up the idea that you will ever be caught up. What a concept. And it's actually very freeing. The best you can hope for is to be on top of your most important tasks. Whatever is left over from today's list will go on tomorrow's list.
Plan your day the night before. "Every minute spent planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution."
Clean off your work area and put a single task before you so you are ready to go in the morning (or whenever your task time is). Determine how long it will take you to get the job done. Organize your calendar to create chunks of time so you can work exclusively on 'A' tasks. Determine the time of day that is best for you and guard those productive times. Use them to focus on your most challenging tasks-'A' tasks. Continue until each task is done.
As you tackle your list become an optimist. Optimists seek the valuable lesson in every setback and they look for the solutions in every problem. Optimists talk about their goals and the future, not their problems.YOU BECOME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
Say no to anything that is not on your list. "To do something new, you must stop doing something old. Learn to say no. You do not have any spare time."
Be self-disciplined and self-motivated!
"20% of the population works without supervision, we call those people leaders."
I like that! We are writers. WE ARE LEADERS!
Albert Hubbard says, "Self discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."
You know how runners get in the ZONE? Well, writers do that too. If you've experienced the ZONE raise your hand. Tracy tells us that when we work with a sense of urgency at a high level of of progression we enter the flow.
FLOW = ZONE.
When you are in the zone your creativity kicks in on a new level. You are calm, happy, and discover a clarity that allows you to function on a higher level of production with more writing sensitivity and intuition. The Zone is a writer's high.
SEEK TO GET INTO THE ZONE MORE OFTEN! The only way to do that is to keep turning your focus back to the task at hand. Remember that every time you stop you have to "overcome inertia and re-familiarize yourself with the task" to get back on track.
Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, sluggish.-Wikipedia.
Now repeat after me, "Just for today, I will plan, prepare and start on my most difficult task before I do anything else. Do this for 21 days until it becomes a habit. You will double your productivity in less than a month."
A very simple lesson with a powerful punch.
I've barely touched the concepts of Brian Tracy's Eat That Frog! If you'd like to win a copy so can join me on the road to success, (hi ho, hi ho it's off to success I go) let me know in the comments.
I have a box of books for one reader who comments.
Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
Ooh! Ooh! And I have some exciting news. I've just gotten the approval for a three-book contract with Love Inspired. My very first. So there WILL be more stories from Paradise! I am very grateful for the opportunity! There will be round the clock donut holes served today in Seekerville to celebrate.
Book three in the Paradise series, Stranded with the Rancher is available for pre-order now, or you can find it in September when it releases.
As for me, you can find me at www.tinaradcliffe.com or at My Critique Partner.