"Well, I'm not the kind to live in the past
the years run too short, and the days too fast" - Al Stewart 1978
We all know that time goes so quickly and then we wonder why we didn't get done what we set out to do. Brian Tracy of Eat That Frog gives some very simple tips to make sure that we get the most out of time to achieve success. To me, having a business plan will very clearly establish what we want to get done and then as part of that plan we will have goals and actions to get where we want by a certain time. It could be to get our small business valuation to a certain level so we can sell or it could be to improve KPIs such as cash flow, gross margins or profitability. In any case, we need to make effective use of our time. As a small business accountant Sydney and Dubbo, getting our clients to take the time to move on areas of improvement can be a challenge but will always be made much easier by effective time management.
Here is a small part of his book that looks at what is known as the ABCDE Method. It's very simple but also very effective.
Figure 1: To make a real difference whether it's business or personal, practice th ABCDE Method and eat that frog!
1. The ABCDE Method
Start with a list of everything you have to do today. You then place an A, B, C or D beside each task.
A is regarded as very important. If you have more than one A task, categorise them as A1, A2 etc. Your A1 is your most important biggest and ugliest frog.
B items are tasks you should do but only have mild consequences. These are regarded as tadpoles of your working life. Remember though these should never be addressed before any of the As.
C is something that would be nice to do but have no consequences at all if not done today. It could include phoning a friend or having coffee/lunch or completing a personal matter. The C items have no affect on your working life whatsoever.
D is something you can delegate to someone else so you can free up more time to devote to your A items that only you can do.
E tasks are those you can eliminate altogether. Often they are something you enjoy but won't make any difference.
2. Be Disciplined!
The key to making this simple system work is to be disciplined. Keep working on these in order until they are done and update them as the day goes along. Do not stop until the order of priority is finished and "Eat That Frog!".
Figure 2: Remember Frogger? Clearly George should have eaten that frog first to get across the road!
3. Next Steps
Let's get started! Do the following:
- Review your work list right now and put an A, B, C, D or E next to each task or activity;
- Select your A1 task and begin working on it immediately. Do not do anything else until you complete it;
- Practice the ABCDE Method every day and on every work or project list before you begin work for the next month;
- By the end of the month you should have developed a very successful habit!
Most people like to procrastinate when it comes to getting something done they don't like even though it will move them forward.
Eat that frog and you will find that you will start getting more done than any two or three people around you.
Believe it or not, having better time management skills promotes higher levels of accomplishment,greater self esteem, self-respect and pride.
Now that's something worth doing RIGHT AWAY!