Friday, May 23, 2014

Why To-Do Lists DO Matter

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..."


Make a list of everything you have to do for the day and then categorize the list:





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'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. 


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 or at My Critique Partner.


Melissa Jagears said...

Um, I need to go eat a frog.....

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good girl, MJ.

Mary Curry said...

If email is a B task, where does that leave commenting on Seekerville?


I think I need this book. I'm already seeing how I can learn from it. And I do need to learn a lot about time management.

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."

I need to find some of that on sale.

"Just for today, I will plan, prepare and start on my most difficult task before I do anything else.
My husband does that. He's a stickler for it. I never understand since I'm a procrastinator extraordinaire.

But I aim to reform. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I left out my favorite quote from the book as it didn't quite fit in today...but man it really is hard hitting:

The world is full of people who are waiting for someone to come along to motivate them to be the kind of person they wish to be. The problem is NO ONE IS COMING TO THE RESCUE.

These people are waiting for a bus on a street where no buses pass.

If they don't take charge and put pressure on themselves, they will end up waiting FOREVER.

So remember that next time someone tells you word count doesn't matter.

Tina Radcliffe said...

You are right Mary Curry. Seekerville is a B task.

Ask Ruthy. She doesn't wander over here until she's finished her allotted word count or chunk of writing time for the day.

Mary Curry said...

WOW! I'm printing that one out. Thanks.

I agree about the word count. Committing to 1k a day in January was the smartest thing I ever did. Once the word count started racking up, it got easier and easier.

And I figure checking Seekerville on the way to bed is as good as waiting til the words are done.

Night all. See you in the am.

Terri said...

Yeah, Tina! Thrilled for you on the three book contract. I noticed you just nonchalantly slipped that in at the end.

I need to eat a frog. Actually, I probably need two frogs to get me focused.

This post spoke to me from the opening, do I dare admit I actually raised my hand in my own living room as I read?

I'm awful about spending tasks on time consuming, but unimportant tasks. I needed the kick in the patootie.

Please thrown name in the hat for the book.

Terri said...

Can I respectfully disagree? Seekerville is an A task. Throw in what we learn and the motivation and encouragement received and it couldn't be anything less than an A.

librarypat said...

Thank you for the helpful post. It is all true. I operate from lists, and do sort out the more important things to accomplish. Unfortunately, I do tend to do the easy little things first just so I can cross them off and to clear the way for the big tasks. In a way that is an encouragement to tackle the big stuff. It is hard when some of those important things are just so big and overwhelming. I know I will feel great when those tasks are finished, but it is going to take so much work and time. I need to break it up into incremental steps toward completion. Another problem I hit, is when I get to a point on one task and discover that I need to work on a few others before I can complete the first. As a result, I have many partially completed things on my list.

Mary Curry said...


No hiding great news like that at the end.

Congrats to Tina and YaY for us or more great books to read.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Terri, kicking your patootie is our pleasure.

I'll let you decide on your own list.

Tina Radcliffe said...

EXCELLENT, LibraryPat!

He also talks about:

The Salami Slice Method-Lay out the task in detail. Resolve to just do 1 slice of the job for the time being. The urge to complete will take over!

Preslaysa Williams said...

Okay, I said I was going to sleep, but I couldn't help but read your post. I listened to the audio book of "Eat That Frog" and Brian Tracy's "Goals" book. Great stuff. Right now, the frog I need to eat is catching my zzz's. Goodnight! (For real this time.)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Nighty night, Preslaysa.

Mary Connealy said...

Why are there fourteen comments on here already?
Better question, what am I doing up at 2:20 am?

Ruthy will be up any minute!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I don't know. What are you doing up at 2:20. Doing your 'A' tasks I imagine.

Cindy W. said...

Congratulations Tina on your 3 book deal with LIS. I'll be keeping an eye out for them. :)

Wow! What a powerful quote, "The world is full of people who are waiting for someone to come along to motivate them to be the kind of person they wish to be. The problem is NO ONE IS COMING TO THE RESCUE." Thank you for sharing Tina.

I would love to be entered into your drawings.

Smile & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

This post is how I live my life.

Every day, with a mental five-year focus and a short-term focus on how to get where I want to be.

Years ago someone told me I taught my children too much, that I pushed them too hard.

THIRTEEN college degrees and several Ivy League schools later, I'm still laughing

Do not let anyone poke holes in your dreams. Keep your own counsel. Believe in God and believe in yourself. And then point your work in the right direction.

Mary Connealy once blogged about doing every cotton-picking job to your best ability, no matter how menial.

YES TO THAT!!!! It creates a habit in little jobs that transfers to big ones.


I can't even hardly make fun of you, I'm so totally engaged in this!!!!

I'll come back and make fun of you LATER.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary Curry, I noticed that EXACT THING about you this year... That seeing you over there, and working on a daily basis, all of a sudden you were Writing Machine Brooklyn Curry!!!!!!

That totally psyched me because your stinkin' talent is amazing... And after we had coffee and chatted last summer, I prayed you would see how amazing it is. I was sure you didn't "get" how talented you are because otherwise you'd be in your Emily Dickinson upstairs room writing every minute you could.

With the occasional bagel. :)



Ruth Logan Herne said...

I don't make a list on weekdays. I know that I need my 1K in before daycare starts. And I try to get over here and to Yankee Belle then too. And then the day job takes over and night time is either try for editing/another 1K (if the house is fairly quiet) or catching up on stuff.

WEEKENDS ARE DIFFERENT because I have time. I start every Saturday and Sunday with an "A" list and "B" list. The A list is what has to be done... And writing 2K is always on that list. And some weekends I can do more than that, but that brings me to 9K/week and that's solid.

The "B" list is stuff I want to do. And that's my reward for getting "A" list done.

1K1HR is a fun way for me to help motivate others and keep myself focused and feel like we're teaming up to do this together.

The list thing is a big help to me, I love CROSSING THINGS OFF THE LIST!!!! If something odd comes up that must be done, I ADD it to the list so I can cross it off.


I'm whacked. :)

But I'm living my dream.

Jackie said...

Seekerville is a B task? I almost always come here right after reading my Bible. I learn so much for you all.

This post came at a perfect time for me. I just learned I'll be working 10 more hours a week, and I've been panicked how I'm going to find time to write. I'm pretty sure I need this book.

Tina, congratulations on your new contract! Whoohoo!

Great post today. Thanks!

CatMom said...

Seekerville NEVER Sleeps!
I'm looking over the posting times on the comments, LOL - - all hours of the night (literally!). Of course, technically after midnight is considered early morning, I suppose(?).

WOW, excellent post, Tina---one to re-read and keep (but can I just have a piece of toast rather than a frog?). ;)

CONGRATULATIONS on your 3-book contract!! WOOHOO!! More Paradise stories!! Cannot wait! (and I also noticed how you casually slipped in your big announcement at the end, hehehe!!). Yum, donut holes---thank you!!

Happy Friday! And to celebrate Tina's HAPPY NEWS, I'm setting out Peach muffins and a warm Peach cobbler. Also fresh strawberries from a nearby strawberry patch here in GA.
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

DebH said...

for me, visiting Seekerville is an "A" task. I wouldn't be in the final 22 of Killer Voices without what I've learned here. so... until that contract or Call comes, Seekerville is "A" task. that, and since i've a "day job", I check the company email, hit Seekerville, then mow through the tasks my boss has for me for the day. I get to check Seekerville again when I break for lunch.

As for writing. My home is going to be a disaster zone these next two weeks as I finish up my entry. Hoping the hubby and child unit can deal with it...

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Tina! I love Brian Tracy books and for years had a cassette tape series of his (which I finally gave away when I no longer had a cassette player in the car or anywhere in the house). I think, too, I was born being a list person. :)

Kav said...

Woot! Congratulations on the three book contract, Tina! Awesome news!!!

So this whole eat a frog thing...personally I don't think we should eat the poor little critters. I once freed a bunch of frogs from the tanks in the biology class at school. I thought I was saving their lives since they were slotted for dissection. But...funny thing about frogs they don't do well without a water source. :-( So now I'm kinda sensitive about frog preservation.

Anyway -- I'm really good at lists at work but I rebel at home. I guess that makes me a delinquent frog. Brrrribbbittt.

Connie Queen said...

3 book contract??????? Way to go Tina. That's so exciting.

I would love to win this book. In some ways, I'm much better than I was 1 year ago with writing, but other things I've let slipped. I know I have the time, I simply don't get to them.

Annie Rains said...

A 3 BOOK CONTRACT????!!!!! That is so exciting! What wonderful Friday news. Congratulations, Tina! You rock :)

Do I really have to eat a frog? Can he be covered in chocolate first?

Happy Friday, Seekerville!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha! Good morning to you A LISTERS.

Patti Jo's muffins to all.

If Seekerville is your A task then so be it :) As long as you have a list, who can complain.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, Jackie Layton and Kav and Deb H. You're going to need your list more than ever.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Annie Rains and Connie Queen are channeling each other. LOL.

Thanks, ladies.

Mary Hicks said...

I loved your post, Tina! And the comments that followed are almost as inspiring as everything you said!

I'm a list person. It's the only way I can stay focused.

I'm ashamed to say that I have to add God to my list. But it's real easy to jump out of the bed and start rushing to get things marked off my list, only to realize at 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon that I forgot to ask His blessings and guidance on my list, and my plans for the day.

So I remind myself by adding #1 - Study & prayer time.

After that, I line things up according to priority. I find that I work better and my works goes smoother when I keep my priorities straight.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Tina, Great post. I'm a real to do list freak and can't operate without them.

But I like the idea of A, B, C. lists. That makes sense and I do get off on some of the B and C lists before accomplishing A. I'm rethinking that. Good point.

Have a great day.

Cindy Regnier said...

Congratulations Tina! I am thrilled for you and that there will be more 'Tina' books to add to A list. I must be allergic to frogs. Last time I tried to eat one it didn't go so well. Guess I better try again though. They're hopping around all over the place. And even though I lurk a lot, Seekerville makes my A list too.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Gooooood morning, Seekerville! For now, my internet is being nice to me, and that makes me happy! Love this post, Tina, and I really don't think I need to delegate Seekerville to a B task, because I usually come over when I get up in the morning. Before I pull out the laptop.

Speaking of, I do have an observation that in no way involves this post. I've noticed that many seekers and seekervillagers actively comment at three...four o'clock in the morning and also throughout the day. I've been called the Energizer Bunny On Steroids, but I think if I attempted that, I'd crash on the first day.

Hooray on the THREE BOOK CONTRACT!!! Wow! I can only dream I get that someday.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Please enter me for the giveaway.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well, Crystal, Seekerville is set to EST. So when I comment and it says 3 it is only midnight.

Same is true for anyone in California. So we merely look like we never sleep.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Awe, thanks, Cindy R!!! It's exciting to think all the Seeker villagers will have books on the shelf soon. Hard work pays off. You are a very hard worker.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Amen to that, Mary Hicks.

Marianne Barkman said...

Tina, YEAH....if I was closer I'd bake cinnamon rolls and meet you some place to celebrate! Maybe Cracker Barrel, maybe VI !!!!! That's so exciting!

Missy Tippens said...

What a great post Tina! Just what I needed to hear. I think I need to buy this book.

Okay, so now maybe you should admit you were thinking of me while writing this post! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Also meant to say YAY on the new contract!!! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Mary Hicks, I actually have a reminder on my phone for every morning that tells me to do my devotional. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Kav, I think I'm going to be chuckling all day about you freeing the frogs. I WANTED to. Wish I'd had your nerve!

Julie Lessman said...

"By the's time to give up the idea that you will ever be caught up. What a concept."

OH. MY. GOSH!! I've just been liberated ... by this statement above AND that email is a "B" task ... who knew???

Great post, Teenster, and one I definitely need, so BLESS YOU!!

But I had to laugh at Mary Curry's comment:
"If email is a B task, where does that leave commenting on Seekerville?"

Precisely, which is why I have cut out almost ALL FB interaction and other social media, including other blogs. Just not enough time in the day ... uh, unless you're Mary Connealy and get by on 4 hours of sleep a night. :)


Bridgett Henson said...

I have an ongoing to-do list, but I love the idea of prioritizing. Usually I choose things on my list according to the time slot I have available.
Perhaps, I should flip-flop that concept and make time for the A-list.
Congratulations, Tina on your book deal. Please enter me for the drawing.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Marianne!! Thank you. I am dreaming of cinnamon rolls.

Cracker Barrel next year! YES!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Great idea, huh, Bridgett. And I love your new profile pix!

Jeanne T said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE THREE-BOOK CONTRACT, TINA!!!!! I'm so excited to read more of your books!

I loved, LOVED this post. I'm a list person, no question. I like crossing things off of it. My biggest challenge has been having more items on my list than time in my day. I prioritize in my head, but.....

The idea of having my A list and my B list is key. I am going to begin working on that. I want, no need, to figure out how to get more writing time into my days, especially with the kids home for summer break now. It sounds like other things will need to take a back seat. I'm good with that.

And as I read Ruthy's comments, I began thinking about how to communicate my writing goals with my husband and figure out how we can eek out a little more time on the weekends for me to write.

Yep, you got my list-making brain hopping this morning. Thanks for that.

Please put me in the drawings!

Cindy Mata said...

LOVE the 'eat a frog' book! Would also love to read all of your books, my friend highly recommended your books. Stay blessed!

Sherida Stewart said...

Yay, TINA! More stories from Paradise! Congratulations!

Now to work on my ABC to-do list. Takeaway for me: I need to be comfortable with the concept that I will never be caught up.

Please pass the donut holes with sprinkles. Thanks!

Courtney Phillips said...

Whoo-hoo, Tina!!!!! Congrats! How awesome!

I'm a big to-do list person. There is something wonderful about crossing out a task on the list, knowing I accomplished something.
I DO get sidetracked with things like Seekerville and email though. Lol!

Connie Queen said...

LOL, Tina. At first I thought I had double-posted. :)
Annie and I must think alike! Scary.

Connie Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Connealy said...

YAY!! YAY!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on the three book contract TINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great blog post.

I think I need to go work now.


Thanks for the kick in the backside.

Mary Connealy said...

I make lists when things get TIGHT.
Mostly I just plod along with my 1000 words a day but right now I've got two finished books to revise, a packet just came with galleys for Book #1 of the Wild at Heart series. Tried & True, coming in September...
And a WIP that is so close to done I do NOT want to set it aside to do the things I should do, even though I must and I've got plenty of time to finish the WIP.

So that's when things get scary and I make lists.
My motto for times like this, well, I don't exactly HAVE a motto but it amounts to:
Work Harder AND Smarter, buckle down, stay at the keyboard, shove everything else aside and work, work, work.

Debby Giusti said...


Love this post. Need to eat a frog or two, as many have mentioned.

I like to feel productive but sometimes tackle smaller B and C goals so I can cross them off the list. BUT I NEED TO START WITH A, don't I?

Thanks for getting me back on track.

More hugs as I reach for a donut hole and some of those yummy GA strawberries. Actually I have six pints of strawberries waiting to be washed. Where does that fit into my to-do list? Probably at the C level.

Wilani Wahl said...

Tina, Congratulations on the 3 book contract!

I loved this post. It is very helpful to know how to prioritize your todo list.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay, Julie Hilton Steele said in Yankee Belle NOT to wash strawberries. JULIE! Tell me again why not.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thank you ladies for the kind words.

Back to my A list.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, I'm such a stinkin' bad friend!!!!!


Mary Hicks, I couldn't agree more. I do my first prayers while waking up. There's a list of people in need, causes I believe in and they get first dibs on my time. I set my clock for 3:40 every morning, so I can have prayer time first thing. I agree with you wholeheartedly... But then I'm blessed to be a morning person, I don't need wake up time after that. I can dive in, read yesterday's work and move on.

What a huge help that's been to me, and I'm so excited when it works for others, too! SUHWEEEET!

Piper Huguley said...


Big congrats on the 3 book contract! So deserving. You can do that, and write these excellent motivational posts as well...wonderful!

I took an on-line class in this lately and I think their system was too complicated. This list making system is much better, and I'm going to try it, along with the frog. Great stuff!

Congrats to everyone who cleared the next hurdle in Killer Voices. Deb H, you can do it. Two weeks is not a long time and when you press send, I am certain that DH and cute little child will both be fine. They may be a little hungry,...but they will be fine! Go to it guys!

Sparkle Abbey said...

Great post! Must check out the Eat That Frog book. Big congrats on the new contract. :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Seekerville can be "A" list as long as it doesn't replace writing...

Although every one of us has been in circumstances (illness, death, divorce, jobs) that mess us up on occasion. Hey, life does that.

But once you're in the habit of being successful, it's very hard for life to keep the habit to the curb for long.

Rogenna Brewer said...

A good reminder, Tina. I have read and listened to EAT THAT FROG, but do not always follow it. Shame on me.

Congratulations on the three book contract my friend!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Tina!!! You rock!!! Way to go on the 3-book contract, girlie!!! :-)

Be self-disciplined and self-motivated!
This is really the key, isn't it? which is scary, since I am discipline- and motivation-challenged!!!!! But still, somehow, I get it done, because I love getting published and getting paid. :-)

I also loved the line:
"20% of the population works without supervision, we call those people leaders." That's power talk. Or you could call it a "pep talk." Love these pep talks from you, Tina!!! You are awesome.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Good to know that Seekerville needs its sleep too. Should have realized that the time zone has something to do with it. :-)

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Mucho congrats on the contract.

Put me in for the drawing.

I have always been independent which helps a lot but I have had to learn to ask for help.

Sigh. But at least I'm getting it now.

Peace, Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...


Julie Hilton Steele said...


You do not wash strawberries until you are ready to use them and you also don't take the caps off until AFTER you wash them.


They are made like little sponges so soak up water, get mushy, yucky and don't last otherwise.

Glad to be of service even though I am sad I have to wait until September for your book.

Peace, Julie

Crystal Ridgway said...

Thanks, Tina! My sister took the pic.

S. Trietsch said...

Congrats on your 3 book contract!! I needed to hear this info and need to rededicate myself to my 'A' college my room was cleanest during finals. I excel at procrastination. LOL!


Jennifer Smith said...

OH my goodness! Congrats on the three-book contract! :)
And thanks for this post...Sigh...I need it this morning. My focus was off for a while a few weeks back, and now I'm cramming for June 1st deadline...

Tina Pinson said...

Might I just have frog legs? I hear they taste like chicken.

Congrats on the contract, Tina. Way to go.

Don't worry about putting me in for Eat That Frog as I already ate it... I mean have it.

I should probably pull it out for another look. My motivation is on 'Boy, you suck level.' Or slightly above it.

Janet Dean said...

Love and need this post, Tina. You can point to yourself as a wonderful example of getting the "A" tasks done. Congratulations on the three book contract!! Yay!! Love we'll have more Paradise stories.

Thanks for the donut holes! I'm using mine to fill the donut's hole and make sure my time doesn't slip through. ;-)

Seekerville is first since my best time of day come later rather than earlier. But that's also a risk when writing isn't first.

The frog is waiting.


Jon and Vicki Marney said...

Ummm--I needed this. I AM a list person, but I'm bad because I don't do them on a regular basis. I'm also one who is guilty of hoping back to add things to the list, which I did, so I can cross them off the list. Especially, if I look back at my list & don't see much crossed off, yet I KNOW I got more than that done. Hmm need to think this thru more.
As to the 1k1hr group--I am finding this group to be quite motivating. And Seekerville? I think I need to add it higher on my list, because I always seem to learn so much when I read it.
Reading books & writing reviews for them. UGH. I have such a tall TBR list, & I love reading them, but since joining the Seekerville challenge last March, I don't think I have read a single book--concentrated more on writing. I'm thinking I need to eek out some time along the way, to get back to some of those books, because there is so much I can learn to help my writing, by reading more of other writers...
Umm--think I need more hours in my day...enter me in the book giveaway, so I can work on finding more hrs. In my day.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Vicki, you are not alone. Welcome to LIST REHAB. I used to do that too. Clutter my list with small things I could cross off. Kick those endorphins in but actually accomplish very little.

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL, Stephanie. Yes. Toilet bowl shine during writing deadlines.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Go Jennifer Smith. No cleaning allowed for you either. June 1 is right around the corner.

Tina Radcliffe said...

The whole frog, Pinson.

I have listened the cassettes on this for years, like Glynna. I now own the book in paperback.

Mary Connealy said...

Okay, Radcliffe, you scared me this morning because I thought suddenly I was wrong about a task I need to accomplish. Like THAT'S DUE TUESDAY IT HAS TO BE IN THE MAIL TOMORROW!

But it's NOT due Tuesday and I'm fine.
Except for my nerves of course, which are SHOT!!!

Mary Connealy said...

And of course I'm blaming you, who else?

Tina Radcliffe said...

Piper and Sparkle Abbey, you snuck in while I was eating the chocolate truffle donut holes. Thanks for the congrats.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary, have a donut hole. Relax. You have a long weekend ahead of you. Plenty of time for the 654 things on your A list.

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

I forgot to say congrats on the 3-book deal--such exciting news!
Also, wanted to say--I had the opportunity of trying frog legs this past year while in Paris, and I must day, they were quite tasty, so we shouldn't be TOO afraid of eating them. ;-)
I kept thinking there was another comment I wanted to make & couldn't think of it--just remembered. The comment that some made about people making comments day and night--remember the following....
People are different--some are morning people, like Ruthy, and some people are night people, like me. And then there are others who are in different time zones, (such as mentioned above--I also live in PT, so when I stay up late, during PT, I sometimes run into ppl like Ruthy during their morning times, even though I am NOT a morning person. Finally, some (like me oftentimes, due to my travels, who are in total opposite time zones, because of different countries... Tomorrow, I head back home, back to PT, after being 4 weeks in--umm...not sure what this time zone is called, in Spain--I will just call it European time zone. ;-)
Note--my hubby just looked it up--it is called CEST (Central European Summer time....

Mary Connealy said...

What Ruthy said about doing whatever job you have to the best of your ability...that's something I said to my daughters in high school when they were flipping burgers and waiting tables.

I'd say, "Every job EVERY job! can be done well or poorly. If you're bagging groceries, you go in there and be the best grocery bagger they've ever seen. If you're waiting tables you do it ALL, the orders, the friendliness, the neatness, in every aspect you strive to be the waitress they talk about years later as a good example."

That applies to life forever and while I ain't got no IVY LEAGUE KIDS, Ruthy (Bragger) Logan Herne, my girls are doing real well.

Also they're extremely pretty.

Mary Connealy said...

I've just had an extremely strange experience and now must leave for an hour or so.

My Cowboy Husband just said to me, "Don't you usually hang flowers on the porch in summer?"

I said, "Yes but I just haven't gotten it done."

He said, "Go to town and buy some."

We've got company this weekend.

Okay, My Cowboy has not only never told me to buy flowers for ANY PURPOSE before in his life, but also, I'm stunned to realize he even noticed them.

This may amount to an out of body experience.

Gotta go.

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

And, yes--you heard right--they DO taste like chicken...little bitty pieces of chicken. LOL

Myra Johnson said...

Super, super post, TINA!!!!

And YAY on the 3-book contract! So excited for you!!!

I may be backward on my frog eating, but I know my prime writing time is between lunch and supper, so that's my highly protected "A" time. I work on my "B" tasks before lunch, and then . . . I stop. Wherever I am on the checklist.

When lunch is over, I open my wip and write pretty much straight through for the next 4-5 hours.

Myra Johnson said...

Aw, how sweet, Mary--hubby TOLD you to go buy flowers!

Mine coerced me into a trip to the plant nursery a few weeks ago. He likes colorful flowers in our deck rail planters (I do, too, actually). He hauls the potting soil, and I stick the plants in. Great teamwork.

Then for the next four or five months, I get to make sure the plants get watered and fertilized.

Or they die a horrible death.

Myra Johnson said...

Okay, TINA, are these doughnut holes the actual dough part, or the empty air part? Because I'm trying to calculate my calorie allowance.

Tina Radcliffe said...

CEST, Vicki! I like that. It's like c'est la vie!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I like your schedule, Myra. It's actually a lot like mine.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Sorry, the donut holes are real dough.

Six = one donut.

Did you want sprinkles or no?

Tina Radcliffe said...

I can't think about frog legs. It's a shuddering thought. Must not go there.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, Mary. Have fun flower shopping.

Janet Dean said...

Ah, that frog...

Mouth open, slipping and sliding. Stuck!!

Anyone else need catsup with that to get it down?


Janet Dean said...

Kav, did you get in trouble freeing those biology lab frogs? LOL In college our frogs were anesthetized. Little hearts pumping. Unlike you, I was callous. Still, it's another entirely different thing to eat one.


Janet Dean said...

Tina, I've had frog legs. My brothers caught and my mom fried them. Taste like chicken. Actually they're good. But these frogs are just wiggling, right?


Helen Gray said...



Way to go. Do you have release dates for all of them?

Myra Johnson said...

Um, no sprinkles, thanks. Gotta cut back where I can. :(

Frog legs!!! Early in our married life, we lived in the Texas Rio Grande Valley and would go over to Mexico for a night out on the town (it was safer in those days). We always went to this great restaurant where you ordered family-style, and we always got fried frog legs--YUM!

One time my brother and his family went with us, and when the servers brought out the guacamole, my nephew (a young teen) didn't know what it was. We said it was what they did with the rest of the frog, and he wouldn't touch it!!!

We said great, more for us!!!

Helen Gray said...


I've also been known to add extras to my to-do lists just so I could cross them off it. For the feeling of accomplishment.

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Bookmarking this one! Please drop my name in the hat for the book. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Helen, this deal is so green it has little green stubs of grass peeking out. (Which I an tenderly whispering to!) No info yet.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hi married lady, Anna! Name in hat.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am so shuddering about frog legs. STOP THAT, JANET!!

fictionthatfeedsyourfaith said...

Congrats on the new contract for 3 books... how wonderful. God is good. I certainly can relate to all of the points you raised in Eat the Frog... I spend too much time on tasks that are unimportant, leaving no energy on the ones that should advance my writing.

Jenna Victoria

Anita Mae Draper said...

WOOHOO Teenster!!! Congrats on your 3-book contract. Really looking forward to it.

Hmmm...I guess that means LI isn't making any changes for awhile now, eh. Yay!

Oh, please throw my name in for this book(s). Absolutely love this advice.

And to DebH - good to see you're on the "A" team! I expect nightly reports, too! Heh

Becke said...

Congratulations on the 3-book contract. That's awesome.

Good post. I love lists and I've been addicted to task completion since I was potty trained. (It took a long time-NOT.)

I'm so addicted to check off the box that I become very frustrated with anyone who impedes my goal progression. This is something I've worked on for some time.

I hope I get it before I'm back in diapers.

DebH said...

CONGRATS! on the three book deal Tina. (uber excited for you!!!!!) I'm munching on those chocolate truffle donut holes please.
Also, would like my name tossed in for the book. this post, while a bit scary for me, is very helpful -now I know what I'm doing wrong. And like the old G.I. Joe shows said "knowing is half the battle!" --THANKS!

Mary about your Cowboy comment. TOO funny. It's amazing what guys notice and when they finally give you a clue that they did so.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Editorial revision letters are scary and then reassuring, DebH.

They make an author take their work to the next level. And to think someone believes in you enough to tell you what your story needs AND trust you can actually do it, is a bit awesome too.


Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha, Becke. Born to be an A Lister!! Love it.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Anita! Nothing should change with Love Inspired and Heartsong as far as my brain can tell. We rock the sales so why fix what isn't broken.

Tina Pinson said...

all this frog talk has me reliving high school science class. My science partner and I got in trouble because she didn't pith his brain right and it jumped off the table.she assured me she'd rather pith than cut. I guess she wasn't pithy enough.

Just goes to show, do whatever you do well. Chasing frogs with needles in their head is not fun.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Tina!

Congrats on your 3 book contract! That's great!

I use lists, except sometimes I make lists and then forget to READ the lists and/or lose the lists.

So I thought I'd try a day-timer. Bought a cheap one - didn't want to invest big chunks of money until I knew I'd use it. Yeah, it sits on the table, rarely opened. I need to make a list that says "Read your day-timer!" LOL.


Elaine Manders said...

Congratulations Tina. I'm happy dancing for you. Actually it's not dancing, but it's happy.

I need to make to-do lists. I do make them for my husband, and my daughter, and my grandchildren. Never occurred to make one for myself. Maybe that's why I waste so much time.

You'd think anyone as budget minded as I am would. Time is more important than money. Unless you don't have any. Everyone has the same amount of time in the day. Time's the great equalizer--or is that death?

Anyway, I'll make a list for myself, but I will not knowingly eat a frog.

Now I'd better get back to cleaning the pool deck. It was on hubby's list, but he's not doing it.

Missy Tippens said...

RUTHY!! 3:40 am????? I've been envisioning you getting up at 4 or 4:30. And it's even worse than I thought! I don't know how you do it.

No wonder we don't hear from you after 8 pm. :)

Meghan Carver said...

This post is so timely for me! I definitely need to read that book. It's embarrassing to admit, but I think a lot of my difficulty with a to-do list is figuring out how, physically, to keep it. I like paper, but do I really want to shuffle it around on the desk? Everyone says they love paperless and can name a blue million apps that keep their lists. But in my mind, when I turn that iPad off, everything in it disappears. I know, I know. Just turn it back on. I don't know why my brain can't figure that out. It just seems like more trouble than checking a piece of paper. The really important things, like word count and edits and Seekerville, are in my head already anyway. Okay, sorry for the babble. Excitement + nervousness = babble. Thanks for the great post and the categories. Can't wait to get to it!

And congrats, Tina, on the contract!

Jan Drexler said...

I was going to comment earlier, but you inspired me to get my word count in, first!

But now I don't have time to read the comments...I'll have to do that later. I think it's a "C". :)

I'll have to think about this concept. I've found that I have a hard time concentrating on my first priority (writing) if there are other, smaller things that need my attention (such as returning an email or writing a blog post).

So I dedicate 25 minutes (thank you for teaching us about Pomodoros!) to clearing my plate in the morning before I start writing.

Another thing I do is to treat 10:00 to noon, and then 12:30 to 3:00 as dedicated writing time - as if I've punched a time clock. If something needs my attention, like changing the laundry around, I do that during my 5 minutes between the 25 minutes writing stretches.

But the main thing - prioritize the tasks - is so important!

Now my lunch break is over and it's time to get back to my WIP.


Danica Favorite said...

LOL... yes, I need to eat some frogs too. :) So hard to get back in the groove after vacation!

Congrats on your contract!!

Crystal Ridgway said...

I completely agree with your opinion on eating frog legs, Tina! Yuck! 8-p

Chill N said...

CONGRATULATIONS! CHEERS! APPLAUSE! BOUQUETS! A three-book deal, is so wonderful for you -- and getting to read more about Paradise is way cool for me. A win-win situation.

Now to go add to my pre-order LIST ;-)

Nancy C

Tina Radcliffe said...

Isn't it amazing the gadgetry that is available when a simple index card and pencil will do the trick.

And there is something about writing things down that actually is brain STIMULATING!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Nancy C, my Italiano pal. Thank you. Ciao, Bella.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Jan, that is an excellent way to do things.

Pomodoro Technique folks. Both Glynna and Pam have blogged on this.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Elaine, Brian Tracy says to think of time like money. You'd never waste time if you were a good employee. Well we are our own employee. Act like you would if you had a boss at home.

Show your value. Show you are the best employee your boss has. Why did he hire you? What is your greatest strength? Use it.

I'm a writer. My greatest strength is writing. So I am going to develop and use my ability and be the best writer my boss ever hired.

Lee Kilraine said...

I love this post. I have always made "To-Do" lists, but I've never prioritized the tasks on it. Definitely going to try that. I listened to Brian Tracy's "Eat that Frog" on Youtube last year, and I'm sure I must have gotten that link from Seekerville since this is the place I get most of my inspirational tools. Which reminds me that even when the weeks get very busy, I'm going to make sure visiting Seekerville is always on my "To-Do" list. I missed so many great posts in the last few weeks, but hope to catch up over the holiday weekend.

Tina, big congratulations on your three book Love Inspired contract!! What happy news!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I know, Missy. She goes to bed at 9 and still. 3:40??? I'd have to go to bed at 7 for 3:40 to be an option.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Lee! OUR GH FINALIST. Make a list for RWA for Seekerville meet and greet. Putting you on it.

RWA used to have a meet and greet Wed night with horderves and cocktails. Did you all know that?

Crystal Ridgway said...

Hey all, if you'd like, there's a voting thing going on over a Inspired By Life And Fiction for the three finalists (I'm one of them) in a fill in the blank contest for Dani Pettrey's Silenced. If you want to cast your vote for who is the most creative, here's the link:

Heidi Robbins said...

Congrats on your new contract! My hubby and I are opposites on this concept- he is a morning person, gets his list done before 10 am so he can relax the rest of the day. I'm a procrastinating night owl. Sometimes we balance each other out, sometimes we drive each other crazy :)

Crystal Ridgway said...

For the life of me, I can't figure out how to share a live link in a commment. Grrr.

Natalie Monk said...

3 book contract??? Woohoo!! Congrats, Tina!!!

Taking notes.

This stuff is pure gold.

I've recently started writing my tasks on a sticky note the night before. It's helped a lot!

Thank you, Tina!!!

Lee Kilraine said...

Yes, Tina, please put me on the list! I can't wait to meet the Seekers and friends of Seekerville!

Also, meant to congratulate the Killer Voices competitors. Good luck to those moving on, but great job also to all who entered. It's not easy to put your work "out there" so be very proud too!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Here is how to share a live link in the comments.

Insert Title of Link Here

Now see those little quotes.

Put the actual link right between the two.

Link To Tina's Web Page

Tina Radcliffe said...

Index cards, Natalie. You don't lose them and you can tuck them in a pocket or purse.I stick mine in the keys of my keyboard before I go to bed.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha, Heidi, my husband I are the same.

He is a morning person and I stay up late. IT TAKES THAT LONG FOR CAFFEINE TO KICK IN.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Tina, which quotes?


Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, my goodness, my example turned into a hot link. Okay. right click on the example and it will give you the option to inspect the element.

your link goes between the ""

Crystal Ridgway said...

Um, Tina?
I'm doing this from a persnikity phone. There is no way to right click. Sorry to be such a bad student.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Sending you an email instead, Crystal.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Thanks, Tina. Here goes nothing. Using my blog as an example.

Crystal Ridgway, Historical Christian Romance Author

Please work....please work....

Crystal Ridgway said...

I did it!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Getting is an error.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Okay, here's the link I tried to share earlier:

Giveaway: Fill In The Blank Contest

Tina Radcliffe said...

That is what you linked to. Should be just the

This is an error I do all the time.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Did it work this time?

Tina Radcliffe said...

That one worked. Congratulations.

Crystal Ridgway said...


Audra Harders said...

Tina, Tina, Tina! WooHoo and congrats on the 3 book contract!!! 'bout time, girlfriend. No one wants to leave Paradise!!

Pat W said...

Tina, congrats to you for new contracts! Your post today was timely.

I have always been a to-do list kinda girl. I agree with Librarypat's comment. She said that being able to cross off the small tasks is an encouragement to tackle the big stuff. So true for me.

Her comment reminded me of an article I read this morning about a Marine speaking to a graduating class. His main piece of advice to them was to make their bed every morning. He told them if they accomplished this small task, it would empower them to tackle the next task and the next. Eventually, they would be successful with their dreams and plans.

I bet they laughed when he said it because he was a Marine. In my world, it's a truth.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Audra Harders said...

Okay that the cheering is out of the way (woot, woot), on to the important matter of to-do lists. I'm trying to get into the habit of using them -- 21 days, eh? Well, I desperately need to include a block of minutes for exercising and it looks like morning it the time to do it. Let's see if I can scrunch that in and check it off my list.

Leaders. I like that. Well, there's certainly no one popping in to see how we're progressing toward our goals, whether self-imposed or not. We've got to be in charge of our productivity or words are not going to happen.

I definitely need to invest in this Frog book...and then add a line item to my list to READ IT.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wise words Pat W. Those Marines are almost as smart as us Army folks. LOL.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yeah. I hear you, Audra. Lots on my A LIST.

Jamie Adams said...

Congratulations, Tina! Great news, I love your books.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Jamie!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh My Gosh. I forgot to congratulate you Teenster.

whoop whoop whoop. I'm so happy dancing for you.

Better stick to that A list.

Like I need to remind you. ha ha

Sally Shupe said...

Congratulations Tina! Thanks for this post. I was just talking to a friend of mine today. This is what I need to do: 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." In order to get done what I need to do, I need to say no. Thank you.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Sally, no is the single most difficult word in ANY language.

Sally Shupe said...

That's what I'm finding out lol. But once you get the hang of saying no, it is so freeing. Here's to saying no to free up writing time!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Checking in late, but wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS ON THE 3-BOOK DEAL!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cindy Malta, I just read your note. MY BOOKS? Well goodness gracious. Thank you!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Somehow I missed Jenna Victoria too. THANK YOU, JENNA!

Walt Mussell said...

Tina, Congrats on your new contract. Yes, I definitely need more focus and more self-discipline.

Tanya Agler said...

Congratulations, Tina, on your sale to Love Inspired.

I needed this post. With school ending and the pitter patter of feet running around my house, I need to start prioritizing and this type of to-do list with categorizing A-E will help me this summer with getting the most of my time.

Thanks so much.

Donna said...

Tina, great news! Three new Paradise books! Congratulations!

I need to print this post and wield the highlighter.

Tina Radcliffe said...

W.A.L.T!! Whatcha been up to??

Tina Radcliffe said...

Tanya, just an A list task a day keeps the writers block away.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks Donna! See U in the June online class.

Mary Preston said...

I'm a list maker. Nothing better than crossing things off that list.

Esther Filbrun said...

That book sounds great! And this post is inspiring as well. To-do lists are important, but I've never thought of organizing them this way. Thanks for sharing, Tina! go apply it (or eat a frog, whichever you prefer).

And please toss my name in the hat for the book. :)

jubileewriter said...

I am a dye in the wool list maker. Can't start my day without a list. The key however is not to lose the list. LOL! I make lists at work for writing stuff to do at home or ideas to explore. A few days later I have to hunt through all the little slips of paper that is after I find all the little slips of paper all over the house to reorganize into a definite to do list.:)

My husband loves frog. (It doesn't taste like chicken.) Cooking frog was a gross experience for me. Because he says the best meat is on the back he eats the whole frog minus head,hands and feet. As it fries it looks like a headless little man twitching as he is browning in the very hot grease. No, I never tried it. I was too traumatized.
Thanks for sharing these tips. Great reminder to me to get back in the zone and get the job done.
Cindy Huff

Dana McNeely said...

This is a great post and a trait I'm working to add to my life toolbox. Not naturally organized, I work at organization and lists are very useful. I like the idea of the list categories, though and you're right. Commenting on Seekerville is a B task, and shouldn't be done before your A tasks are complete. The frog book sounds helpful. :)

Tracy Krauss said...

Some very good advice here... Sometimes I find it hard to focus on the 'A' tasks when I have a bunch of little tasks that I could get off my list (presumably 'B' tasks...)Whatever works.

Fiction Writer said...

i'd love a copy of Eat the Frog. Sounds perfect for me. Not sure I get the title, but the concept is thrilling!