Brian Tracy, a leading authority on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness, wrote a book called Eat That Frog! It provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more in your life. The basic premise is that if you have to eat a frog, do it first. If you have look at it all day you won’t think about anything else and accomplish very little in your day. When you deal with the frog at the start of your day you can relax and get on with your day. The hardest thing you have to accomplish is done.
I know this concept is really meant to help you in managing and organizing your day at work. But why not use it in all areas of your life? Chronic pain sufferers have a huge load to carry - not only do they have to get on with the business of living they do it in pain. It may be easier to get through the frogs if you identify them and manage the biggest one at the start of your day.
Ok, so this is a whole lot easier said than done. When you live in chronic pain you just never know how you will feel the next day, much less a week from now, and you may not be able to manage those frogs you need to face. Make an effort anyway.
First you need a plan. If you don’t think about and plan for your next day it’s likely you will waffle all day and actually accomplish nothing. Better to have a plan that you can change than to have no direction at all.
In the evening as you are winding down your day think of all that you would like to do the next day and what you have to do. Are there issues, or people, that you feel will be hard to face? Is there anyway you can address them first? What are the daily chores that must get done, what can be left undone if necessary?
That leads to setting your priorities for the day. Where are the frogs you have to face and can you put them first in your day?
There are daily issues like exercise or periodic items like doctors visits? They are not usually events you look forward to when in pain but exercise, for example, has been proven beneficial to those in pain. Is it possible to get your exercise done in the morning so that you can get on with your day without thinking about it again? Perhaps you can sandwich your fitness routine in between two other activities that you do enjoy so it becomes more palatable. Visiting the doctor early in the day also means he’s fresh for the day and you have the rest of the day to recover.
And last you have to take action. If exercise is your daily frog then get on with it as early as possible. On those mornings that you set for exercise but you wake with pain levels too high to manage don’t beat yourself up about it, just move on and plan for it another day. If your frog for the day is having a conversation you don’t want to have, don’t stew – plan it and act on it as early as possible.
And if your whole day feels like a box full of frogs, start by eliminating the one that will keep your stomach churning the most. Move to the next and the next.
Are there any frogs that you face daily? When you identify your frogs how do you manage them? Leave a comment on Facebook.