Welcome to Day 5 of the 5-day Focus Challenge. If you haven’t yet, make sure to complete Day 4 before attempting today’s challenge. Today’s challenge is all about taking action on your one thing, which you identified during yesterday’s exercise.
Let’s get started.
Now that you’ve identified the one thing that will provide the greatest movement towards creating the future you’ve always dreamed of, it’s time to take action.
This step can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s an old saying that says in order to eat an elephant, you have to do it one bite at a time. You don’t have to write the whole book, you just have to write one page and then do that enough times (trust me, I know). The secret to your success is in the consistency of your action. It doesn’t matter how big your action is, what matters is that you do it every day.
The Compound Effect
There’s a story about the man who invented the game of chess. The story goes that the man who invented this amazing game was asked by the king of the country where he lived what he wanted as a reward. The man reportedly asked for one grain of rice doubled for each square on the chess board, which is 64 squares in title (8 squares by 8 squares). That’s 1 grain of rice for the first square, 2 for the second, 4 for the third, 8 for the fourth, 16 for the fifth, and so on.
The king reportedly initially laughed off what he considered be a meager reward for such an incredible invention. But the story goes that after a week he asked the treasurer if the man had been paid and he said no because there wasn’t enough in the royal treasury. You see, that one, insignificant, grain of rice doubled for every square on the chess board is actually 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 grains of rice!
I love this story because it shows the power of compound effect and the dramatic impact it can have in helping you achieve your goals. It shows that it doesn’t matter what you start with, what matters is that you consistently do the right things the right way. When you do this, the compound effect kicks in and makes success inevitable for you.
So how do you make sure that you consistently do the right things? By doing them first thing. In other words, by eating your frog.
Eating Your Frog
The term comes from the Brian Tracy book called “Eat That Frog!” based on a famous quote:
“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” – Mark Twain
From a productivity perspective, the beginning of the day is the best time to focus on your most important task (MIT). You have the most cognitive resources and willpower to devote to something at the beginning of your day, so it is the perfect time to take action on the one thing that will provide the most movement towards achieving your ideal future.
By prioritizing your one thing from the challenge yesterday and doing it first thing, you can go through the rest of your day feeling like you’ve accomplished something great. And the truth is, you have! Just stick with it, and before long the compound effect will kick in and you’ll start to see some major progress being made towards achieving your ideal future.
Look back at the thing you identified as making the biggest impact in achieving your ideal future from Day 4. This is what you are going to work on in your focus blocks going forward, staring today. Do something to take action on this, RIGHT NOW!
When you’re done, look at the time slots you set aside for your Focus blocks this week and put them on your calendar going forward. If they are not at the beginning of your day, move them there. You might have to get up a little bit earlier to eat your frog before you start your day, but the satisfaction that you get from doing so is worth the inconvenience.
Extra credit: Take your focus blocks and DOUBLE the duration. That means that if you had a 30 minute focus block, set aside 1 hour. This will exponentially accelerate the rate at which you are able to achieve your ideal future by leveraging the compound effect. Just make sure to be consistent and don’t bite off more than you can chew when eating your frog.
Congratulations! You’ve completed the 5-day focus challenge. Now tune in tomorrow to find out how you can win one of the awesome prizes we mentioned in the kickoff.
(And if you want more actionable information, we have a new presentation coming up where we dive deeper into creating your ideal future…faster. Here’s the link to check it out.)
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