Sometimes, the struggle to get work done is a little bit too real. We just feel like we can’t quite get ourselves to get that thing done. For me, lately, that thing has been accounting. Sometimes, it’s more of an every thing, but I think we can all relate to that feeling.
The other day, I shared this picture on Instagram Stories (@alicia_life_tips) and I got a lot of good feedback from it, so I wanted to share more about my idea behind it and some actionable ways for you to get that thing done.
If you have done any research in the productivity space, you have probably heard about the “eat the frog” technique. This approach to task management says that the best thing for you to do is to start out with the thing you are dreading the most, otherwise you will end up procrastinating it all day and it will weigh on your mind as you’re trying to do other tasks.
I don’t typically do this method because I find that I will procrastinate doing my work all together if I know I will start with that one thing. So, I typically start out with “easy wins” — typically 10-20 minute tasks that are urgent and give me a sense of momentum into my workflow. You can read all about this method and two others on my blog post about workflow strategies.
While “eating the frog” doesn’t usually work for me, I have found a way to use it sparingly in order to jump-start my day recently: I give myself something that I’m craving, but only if I get a head start on that frog. This reward has to be something immediate. For me, this reward has been coffee. Because I love coffee.
A spoonful of sugar helps the frog go down.
Too far with the metaphor? Perhaps. But, I find that if I give myself an immediate reward like a decadent cup of coffee, I am much better able to get started. There is a bit more to this, however. I make sure that I get into a positive, productive mental state with my morning routine first. I have even been waking up earlier than my normal 6:30AM wake up, experimenting between 5:00AM and 6:00AM to see what works best.
When I wake up early, get a good start to my morning, and tell myself from the get-go that I’m going to get all the work done that I need to, and then I sit down in a beautiful area of campus and order a cup of coffee, then I have my cup of coffee and I open my accounting spreadsheets, how could I not get that work done?
It’s about knowing your incentives.
For me, an aesthetic work environment and a cup of coffee is an incentive. It’s something I want to do when I wake up in the morning. It makes me feel good about myself. Your incentive might be something completely different – you just have to find what works for you.
I encourage you to try this approach to work and see if you find it productive for you. Let me know what works and where you’re having issues! I check Instagram DMs daily, so that’s a great way to reach me!