'Eat the Frog' and Other Hacks to Get Sh*t Done
Getting things done even when you don't feel like + Building-in-Public.
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I hope you have a nice read and get some insights from this issue. Cheers!
Get the Job done even when you don’t feel like it.
If you’ve ever woken up on a Monday morning, the proverbial start of workdays in most part of the world, and felt unusually tired and unmotivated to get anything done, I assure you, buddy, you are not alone. Thankfully, there are hacks that can be adopted to get into the zone where you can get things done even when you don’t feel like it:
The 5-minute trick: - using this approach, you resolve to work on a task for just 5-minute with an understanding that you can quit afterwards if you are not feeling it. What this hack does is to help you overcome the inertia to get things started. Most of the time, once the initial hesitation to begin a task is overcome, you will probably go-ahead to keep working on it beyond 5-minute.
Read:- The 5-minute trick that helps Instagram CEO crush procrastination
Create a to-do List: - In addition to what I figure you already know about creating a to-do list to optimize productivity, a recommended tip is to always have a comprehensive understanding of tasks you need to get done before creating the list. You should be able to clearly define the scope of work, the time required for execution and tools needed to get the job done. It is also okay to have few items on your daily to-do list (Ivy lee method suggests 6). Remember, it is a marathon and not a sprint.
Also, an interesting trick that people have claimed works for them is to actually write out tasks on a piece of paper and tick them off when completed. It’s stated that this gives a mental satisfaction that could propel you to finish off all the tasks on your list.
Eat the Frog: - What task would you complete today that would give you a fit of satisfaction? Your answer is your ‘frog’. The idea here is to tackle your most essential task first thing every day. That feeling of fulfilment from completing the task could unlock inspiration to complete other tasks for the day.
When applying this technique, you want to be pragmatic and eat the right size of frog. Therefore, it is recommended that you break up your essential or major task into a chunk that can be completed within a realistic time frame in the course of your day.
Read:- The truth about frogs
Pomodoro Technique: - In this method, you pick a task, spend 25 minutes to work on it with complete focus and then take a short break afterwards. You are definitely at liberty to choose whatever length of time works best for you. What is important to note is that having a time constraint in mind when working on a task can help you stay focused and boost your productivity.
I will go a step further and suggest that you add another dimension to this hack by setting up a reward that can only be unlocked after the completion of a specific number of cycles. For example, permitting yourself to check your social media timelines after 3 ‘work and break’ cycles.
Cues & Actions Technique: I coined this term and it probably sucks but I got the idea from James Clear after reading his famous book: Atomic Habits. The idea here is that if you can design your environment with productive cues or perform a series of activities, you can get into a zone where you are fired up to do what it is that you have to do. For example, some people are alerted to work after taking a cold-shower and others have to dress up like they are going to an office even while working from home.
If you will use this technique, it’s incumbent on you to identify the action(s) you can perform or cue(s) you need to see that will unlock the energy you need to get work done.
Read: - Atomic Habits by James Clear
The list above is not exhaustive so I will appreciate it if you can hit me up with a reply and let me know what works for you that is not on the list.
#BuildInPublic? Something to ponder on
I was scrolling through my Twitter feed on Sunday and stumbled on a thread that enthralled me. A user was stepping back from his role as a venture capitalist to go full time on building a newsletter and he created a video presentation to explain the thought process behind the decision.
I mean this dude literally gave us a pitch deck telling us about his monetization strategy, what he has done so far, the goals he has set for Year1 and what could make the newsletter a failure. 24 hours later, he gave an update on the stats the thread has generated across social platforms:
56K video views
1.5K new followers (I was one of them)
734 new email subscribers.
I was hooked by what I saw. So I decided to do some research on the rising trend of building in public. Here is what I found about some of the pros of adopting this strategy:
Attracts an audience for your product/service. The metrics from Mario’s thread says it all. Acquiring 100 new sign-ups is not cheap even with paid ads but he was able to acquire almost a thousand new subs for his newsletter with organic posts. My inference is that people love authenticity and when you open up with your plans, you earn a group of loyal supporters that will love to join you on your journey, buy into your vision and root for your success.
Gets immediate and valuable feedback from people. By building in public, people will ask questions about whatever it is they don’t understand and the introspection to provide answers could give you ‘aha’ ideas to create a better product/service. The caveat here is to know how to identify good feedback; block out detractors and engage those who genuinely care.
Attracts talent to help or partner with you. If someone is locked into the vision of what you are building and they identify where they can help out, a fruitful work partnership could be birthed at 0 recruitment cost.
Additional Resources for #BuildInPublic
Why you should build in public
A community/newsletter to learn how makers and founders are building in Public
I am personally sold on the #BuildInPublic mantra and I plan to adopt a variation of this strategy in building Genefits. I will love to hear from you if this is something you already do or will love to do in the future. And if you have any reservations about building in public, please feel free to reach out and let me know what you don’t like about it.
Thank you for reading! You will make my day if you could rate this article. It will help me know what is good and what needs to be improved.