#EmptyShelf17 #24 Eat That Frog by @BrianTracy

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less TimeEat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book only took about 20 minutes to read, and packed a lot into its pages. Drawing on my ‘Beyond Chocolate’ “be your own guru” skills, a lot of them I thought, ah yes, I should try that, or, hmmm, not sure if that would work, but I’d be prepared to give it a go. Also interested to see how many of those habits I appear to have embedding in my life over the past year too. A lot of it’s about focus, spending your time well, managing procrastination, etc. I like this quote, which is the aim of it all:

“Rule: It is the QUALITY of time at work that counts and the QUANTITY of time at home that matters.”

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Digital Decluttering & Time Management

I don’t do ‘New Years Resolutions’, choosing rather to change things in small steps throughout the year. The Christmas ‘holidays’ however, can give a chance to do a bit of extra sorting … and with my house near-enough in ‘maintenance’ phase, I turned my attention to my digital spaces, including a  new 2TB hard-drive which rescued 90% of the data from my previous hard drive (which sounded distinctly unhealthy), and allowed reclassification and removal of duplicates, so annual photo albums dating back to 2007 are in progress!

So, when to find time to do this kind of thing – let’s look at the time management tools I’ve developed over the past year to focus my attentions (having managed to largely keep on top of Inbox 0 for 19 months):

1) Google Calendar

Google calendar is so simple to use, accessible on all devices, easy to add new meetings on the move, and easy to share with other users. I have 3 main calendars running, one for CODEC, one for Digital Fingerprint, and one for everything else. Colour-coded, it offers quite an easy way to see if any parts of your life have taken over more of the calendar than they should!

2) Microsoft Word Table

I use a simple 4×4 table, recurring as often as required, which has “the big dates”: top layer for CODEC, purple for Digital Fingerprint, and blue for everything else. I first did this 2 years ago, and a quick check once a month helps to keep on track and see how realistic I’m being:

deadlines3) ToDoIst

I’ve used electronic to-do-lists for 3+ years. When my previous one failed last year, I moved to todoist, and with it’s premium features (especially the ability to add files to to-do items, which means they can be removed from emails!), and finally discovering sub-projects today, this one ‘ticks all my boxes’! I can access the list via the web, on an android phone, and an iPad ..


No need to get overwhelmed as one needs only to look at the project/sub-project that one is working on (and one is advised to keep the tasks ‘small’), or just the next 7 days things ‘to do’.


The only trouble is, if it doesn’t make it onto the list, it may get forgotten! But one can see what one has done (and I’m particularly proud of the fact that there’s several days with nothing done):



As time can fly past whilst one is ‘looking in the other direction’, was great to hear about this piece of software from Dave at work. Decided to try it for a week, just monitoring CODEC time/output, and several weeks later I’m still using it. Stop/start, assign items to particular categories, and see where your time is going. It gives useful data that encourages one to think about where time  is going – as always – use the tool insofar as it helps, don’t let it rule you!


5) Bundlr

Alongside Pinterest (which is more visually focused), I encountered Bundlr whilst I was collecting articles related to Raising Children in a Digital AgeIt can be quite a useful ‘dumping ground’ for articles, etc. – allowing todoist to list “read articles” re a particular topic, rather than an overwhelming number of thing to-do.


Overall, you’ll see that this is about managing focus, and managing overwhelm – leaving more time, space and energy for a more fulfilling life! As each of these have been absorbed as habit, brain space is freed up for more creative thinking…

What works for you?


The Machine Gives No Choices?

gato-en-un-teclado--cat-on-a-keyboard-1430977-mInteresting research highlighted on Mashable, about what people potentially miss out on by spending time online:

Even so, this computer time has a notable impact, eating into things like sleep, work, travel and household chores. For every minute that they spend lazing on the computer, Americans spend approximately 16 fewer seconds working, seven fewer seconds sleeping, six fewer seconds traveling, four fewer seconds doing household chores and three fewer seconds educating themselves. Although Wallsten can’t prove that more computer time causes less sleep, for instance, he concludes “that online activities, even when free from monetary transactions, are not free from opportunity cost.”

Always worth thinking about what we gain/what we lose, and how much choice we have in all this! Read full blog post.


Rocking Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day? [Infographic]

I have been developing some ‘Social Media’ workouts .. but this looks interesting:


Good Reminder: Wider Picture


Talking about youth work, but feels a bit like where I get to far too often:

We are all working so hard at delivering our job that we rarely make enough time to read or think. This traps us in the here and now. We cope with crises as they hit us. We never have enough time or space to plan new work and manage our time better. We tend not to see the wider picture. We are responsive rather than pro-active.

It is difficult to develop strategies and plans without understanding the wider picture and how all its part relate to one another. Yet planning and working systematically is the only way we can become more effective and less stressed as workers. This is why we need to change the way we work and manage our boundaries and time more effectively even when it means saying ‘no’. It is one of the ways that we prevent being ‘kippered’.

Good advice…