Organize Yourself in 2015–Prepare, Pounce … then Persevere!

In the 21st and final chapter of his book on preventing procrastination called Eat That Frog!, Brian Tracy gives his final piece of advice for increasing one’s productivity, which he calls “Single Hand Every Task”.   What this phrase means is that once you’ve set about STARTING a task, you need to then “concentrate on it single-mindedly until it is complete.”    This means whenever you are tempted to stop or do something else, make sure you urge yourself to continue working on it until it is complete.

The ready why I’ve renamed this principle as “Prepare, Pounce … then Persevere!” is because essentially the entire book has been getting you to

  • choose goals that are consonant with your aspirations
  • break those goals into tasks that are achievable in a single work period, whether it is an hour or an entire work day
  • prepare your resources so you can get right to work

which covers the first two “P”s.    However, before I started with Brian Tracy’s books, I would often start projects that I would not end up finishing.    Let me give you an insight into how important the third “P” is.

When you start an endeavor in the United States, people will often wish you “good luck”, so that fortune will come to your aid.   One of the reasons why the Japanese have such a good work ethic, I believe (after having lived in the country for five years), is that when you start an endeavor in Japan, people will often say “gambatte kudasai”, which means “please persevere.”   There it is understood that your success is NOT going to depend on the whims of fortune, but rather your own hard work and determination to see the project through to the end.   When reading this chapter of Brian Tracy’s book, I suddenly hearkened back to the time I used to live in Japan and remembered that phrase, “gambatte kudasai.”    It took on new meaning to me.

And so I do all of the tools and techniques that Brian Tracy said about breaking up a task into bite-size chunks, doing the hardest task (the “Frog”, according to Brian Tracy’s quirky terminology) first thing in the morning, and making sure I start the task, but the perseverance I needed to finish the task was a matter of character, I thought, and at first I didn’t think I had it in me.

However, although many so-called character traits may have genetic components to them, many of them are essentially ingrained habits that have been practiced so much that they become, as one might say, second nature, and become part of one’s persona.

One thing that helps in adopting Brian Tracy’s scheme of goal-setting is the gift of experience.   Meaning that all you have to do is try it and see if works.   You can even make a bet to yourself and say, “I’ll try it for 21 days, one chapter a day, and if it DOESN’T improve my life,” I’ll forget about it and move on.    That’s what I did with myself.   I read a chapter a day and started picking up a tip here and there and trying it out.   Well, by the end of the 21 days, I couldn’t say I was organized, but at least I was less disorganized, so I could honestly say it made a difference.

And then I took it to the next level.   I spent 21 weeks, and delved into each chapter for a single week, doing the practice exercises at the end of each chapter.    And the proof is in my planning journals that I bought at the beginning of the project.    Then it was a BIG DEAL that I was creating goals, tracking them down, and marking them off as I completed them in the journal.

Now, however, I realized that it has become almost second nature to me, so I figured at the beginning of this year, I would review the whole book is to tighten up my system of organization, and then I would give a gift to others of the ability to organize their lives in 2015.    And so I had the entire of creating this series of blog posts to write down my impressions about Brian Tracy’s book.    If you were interested in this series, then I suggest you get the book “Eat That Frog!” or his book “Goals” and first of all, read it through.    If you are like I was, you will be intrigued and you will want to try his ideas out.

Make sure to buy a journal not just to answer the questions that come up in the chapters, but to do the sample exercises and then trying creating your own plans for how to achieve your goals.   You will squeeze more out of life in 2015 if you do.  If it worked with me, it will definitely work for you!

So go out there and start “eating some frogs!”


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