“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” — Pablo Picasso
We all procrastinate on many things even important things. I think I do it more than others and what’s worse I end up putting the most important things in my life on hold. Procrastination is a bad habit that puts a lot of unnecessary mental strain on us. I always end up regretting about wasted time. I consider this as a very strong mind trap that steals our happiness but the good news is it can be controlled.
“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” — Charles Dickens
Brain Tracy’s is one of the most famous success coaches and he talks passionately about time management. To curb my procrastination habit I took help from Brain’s Tracy’s teachings. The ABCDE Method from his book “Eat That Frog” made a significant change in my productivity and in my life. I am sure it will make a big difference for anyone who will give it a try.
“Eat That Frog” is simply a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day. When you apply this theory all day, every day, you become a veritable power house of productivity. So not only do you have more time to do the things you love with the people you love, but you also become indispensable to your managers and employers.
What is ABCDE Method?
ABCDE Method is a genius way to organize your work or life or both. I think it is genius because it is extremely simple. All great coaches teach very simple tricks but most of these are highly effective.
In school I had a way to mark important questions or portions of my syllabus. I am sure everyone did this in their school days. Whenever the teacher hinted that this question is important or may come in your final exams I would immediately put a mark on it and while studying gave priority to these questions.
“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” — Leonardo da Vinci
Now when I am juggling responsibilities of work and home I think a trick like this can come handy. ABCDE method is exactly what I needed. As per this method in the beginning of your day make a list of things you want to accomplish that day. Most of us already have a habit of making a to-do list. The ABCDE method can help you prioritize your tasks and control procrastination.
Step 1: Brain Tracy’s tells us to think on paper. Simply put he tells us to keep a record of our ideas or plans or tasks on paper. So making a list is the first step.
Step 2: Organize the tasks by priority. Categories each item on your list into 5 categories as A, B, C, D and E.
Category A –
• The tasks that come in “A” category are your most important tasks,
• These are highly crucial for your work,
• Success or failure of your day or work depends on these tasks,
• These need your attention and you cannot delegate these to anyone else or avoid them,
• Delay in these tasks puts an adverse effect on your performance,
• These have to be done on priority and should be given enough time and attention so that they are done without any delay,
For example: Writing an article for your client, Preparing a report or Meeting your client.
Category B –
• The tasks that come in “B” category are important something that you should do,
• These tasks are not as important as your ‘A’ tasks,
• There are only minor negative consequences if it is not completed,
For example: Sending a thank you mail to your client or colleague.
Category C –
• The tasks that come in “C” category are nice to do tasks something that you should do,
• These tasks are not as important as your ‘A’ or ‘B’ tasks,
• There are no negative consequences for not completing it,
For example: Having lunch with your colleague.
Category D –
• The tasks that come in “D” category are the tasks that can be easily delegated to others,
• You can assign this task to someone else who can do the job instead of you.
Category E –
• The tasks that come in “E” category are the tasks that can be easily eliminated; whenever possible,
• You should eliminate every single unnecessary activity you possibly can, to free up your time.
When you use the A-B-C-D-E method, you can very easily sort out what is important and unimportant. This then will focus your time and attention on those items on your list that are most essential for you to do.
“You may delay, but time will not.” — Benjamin Franklin