Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 31 - Eat the Frog in the Morning

Have you heard this phrase before?  Just eat the frog in the morning and get it out of the way.  First of all I don't advocate eating frogs, I actually love these little creatures.  The snakes do too unfortunately and our once family of eight tree frogs that hop on the sliding glass window when it rains has become a family of two.  It didn't help that I squished one that was hidden between the cushions and the frame of the glider on the back porch.  But I digress, the thought of having to eat a frog for breakfast is not only gross it's something that would be very hard to do especially if the frog was still alive and uncooked.

The point is if you did this, anything else that is required of you for the day is a breeze.  I realize some people are night people and get more done in the evening but I've always been a morning person.  Knock out the stuff and be done with it.  I really could identify with Denzel Washington's Family Motto, Work hard first so we can Play hard later.  Sometimes however I just can't bring my mind to think like this.  I'd rather have a sense of accomplishment and do homework that only requires an hour versus one assignment that requires four or five hours.  So I quickly check off the list of assignments and then dig in to do the biggest one last.  I feel if I can prove that I'm doing something by quantity that others will know I'm working hard.

The false assumption on my part is that quantity is not a good self-evaluation if we aren't looking at the overall picture including effort and quality.  Most of us don't have a problem with quality but it's the effort or lack of effort that can get us in trouble.  Depending on who it is that judges our work, a boss, our parents, our children, our God or ourselves, we may really be exposed to the truth about our effort.  So for those of us who are in the role of the judging, we look at the effort.

My son would come to me and say, "I'm finished Mom with cleaning my bedroom."  Well five minutes doesn't seem like enough time to clean an entire room.  So the quality matched the effort when I checked his room.  I taught each of the kids how to clean their rooms including sorting through papers, clothes and toys that we could throw away or give to Goodwill.  I taught them how to vacuum the rug and wash the baseboards free from dust. So after the first check, they knew they would have to do it right and returned to finish the job the right way.  How many times have we said this as parents, do it right the first time and you won't have a second time.

Doing it right means applying some effort.  Effort usually takes time.  The more time we allocate to give something we want or are required to get done, will usually be a self-paced effort-filled successful task.  The more tasks that are required of us in the strive to be successful, the more we need lists.  So if we want our days to be productive,we can do this each day. Begin by writing the list of things we want to achieve and the date by which they are to be achieved.  Deadlines are the key here.  I have a habit of writing a daily list and my list should be completed by the end of the day.  I start with the eating the frog in the morning because I know that takes more effort and effort takes time.  With that part done by mid-afternoon, I take a lunch break and return to the list.

There is only one problem with this strategy, as my Grandmother used to say, "I've gotten so old that I forget where I put the list."  I don't say that yet even though I know it's true, I say, "The frog ate it."

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried~Unknown

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