Today we decided to try something a little different on The Joy of Marketing blog and bring a guest to you with some small business strategies.
Brian Tracy is one of Sarah’s personal heros so we were so excited when he agreed to teach our community at The Joy of Marketing. Sarah has read all of Brian’s books, listens to his audio series (our personal favorite at The Joy of Marketing is his audio program ‘Be Charming’) and is a huge fan. For those of you who don’t know Brian, you’re in for a treat. He is one of the world’s best teachers on time management and personal success. For decades, Brian has taught small business owners how to move the ball forward and has transformed the lives of millions. Welcome, Brian.
Single Handle Every Task – By Brian Tracy
Eat That Frog! Every bit of planning, prioritizing, and organizing comes
down to this simple concept.
Every great achievement of humankind has been preceded by a long period of hard, concentrated work until the job was done. Your ability to select your most important task, to begin it, and then to concentrate on it single-mindedly until it is complete is the key to high levels of performance and personal productivity.
Once You Get Going, Keep Going
Single handling requires that once you begin, you keep working at the task without diversion or distraction until the job is 100 percent complete. You keep urging yourself onward by repeating the words “Back to work!” over and over whenever you are tempted to stop or do something else.
By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50 percent or more.
It has been estimated that the tendency to start and stop a task – to pick it up, put it down, and come back to it – can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500 percent. Each time you return to the task, you have to familiarize yourself with where you were when you stopped and what you still have to do. You have to overcome inertia and get yourself going again. You have to develop momentum and get into a productive work rhythm.
But when you prepare thoroughly and then begin, refusing to stop or turn aside until the job is done, you develop energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. You get better and better and more productive. You work faster and more effectively.
Don’t Waste Time
The truth is that once you have decided on your number one task, anything else that you do other than that is a relative waste of time. Any other activity is just not as valuable or as important as this job, based on your own priorities.
The more you discipline yourself to working nonstop on a single task, the more you progress along the “efficiency curve.” You get more and more high-quality work done in less and less time.
Each time you stop working; however, you break this cycle and move back along the curve to where every part of the task is more difficult and time consuming.
Self-Discipline Is the Key
Elbert Hubbard defined self-discipline as “the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
In the final analysis, success in any area requires tons of discipline. Self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control are the basic building blocks of character and high performance.
Starting a high-priority task and persisting with that task until it is 100 percent complete is the true test of your character, your willpower, and your resolve. Persistence is actually self-discipline in action.
The good news is that the more you discipline yourself to persist on a major task, the more you like and respect yourself, and the higher is your self-esteem. And the more you like and respect yourself, the easier it is for you to discipline yourself to persist even more.
By focusing clearly on your most valuable task and concentrating single-mindedly until it is 100 percent complete, you actually shape and mold your own character. You become a superior person.
You feel stronger, more competent, more confident, and happier. You feel more powerful and productive.
You eventually feel capable of setting and achieving any goal. You become the master of your own destiny.
You place yourself on an ascending spiral of personal effectiveness on which your future is absolutely guaranteed.
And the key to all of this is for you to determine the most valuable and important thing you could possibly do at every single moment and then Eat That Frog!
1. Take action! Resolve today to select the most important task or project that you could complete and then launch into it immediately.
2. Once you start your most important task, discipline yourself to persevere without diversion or distraction until it is 100 percent complete. See it as a test to determine whether you are the kind of person who can make a decision to complete something and then carry it out. Once you begin, refuse to stop until the job is finished.
Effective Time Management Strategies
The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling the tasks.
Tell us on the blog, what is the single most important task or project you are going to focus on, without distraction? We’d love to hear it!
More About Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy is one of the top professional speakers in the world on the subjects of business success, marketing, sales, strategy, time management and personal performance. He has given more than 5,000 talks and seminars in 55 countries worldwide. He’s a dynamic and entertaining presenter, teaching proven, practical methods and techniques to help you to reach higher levels of sales, profitability and personal income. As the author of more than 50 books covering the entire spectrum of individual and business success, Brian Tracy has appeared on more than 5000 television and radio shows worldwide. He is also featured regularly in major publications across the country, and overseas. For more Brian Tracy programs, check out www.briantracy.com