The 21 ways are:
1. Set the table: Think on paper! One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all!
2. Plan every day in advance
3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything
4. Consider the consequences
5. Continually practice the powerful “ABCDE Method” or priority-setting technique that you can use every single day! The power of this technique lies in its simplicity. Start with a list of everything you have to do for the coming day. Think on paper by placing an “A, B, C, D, or E before each item on your list — before you begin the first task.
6. Focus on “key result areas”
7. Obey the law of forced efficiency
8. Prepare thoroughly before you begin
9. Do your homework
10. Leverage your special talents
11. Identify your key constraints
12. Take it one oil barrel at at time
13. Put the pressure on yourself
14. Maximize your personal powers
15. Motivate yourself into action
16. Practice creative procrastination
17. Do the most difficult task first
18. Slice and dice the task — how to “swiss cheese” and “salami slice” your big work tasks for a specific time period.
19. Create large chunks of time to concentrate on specific goals or projects
20. Develop a sense of urgency
21. Single handle every task (not multi-task)
This link is a very helpful summary.
The key messages from the author is to focus eating the biggest “frog” at a time with a solid plan and do it now. I like the simplicity of the method and I know it works. Nowadays, people often get distracted by all the emails, phone, instant messages and etc and fail to focus on the most important task. I probably listened to the audio book three times already. Most of the lessons are common sense. But the following areas stand out for me:
1. Tackle the most difficult task first. I often found it hard to do that but I think that’s the right thing to do. It’s hard to imagine myself eating a frog.
2. Creative procrastination is a great idea. The hard part is not to turn into a habitual procrastination.
3. Single tasking is right on the money. Nowadays, the quality of work in general has degraded due to the multiple distractions people face all the time.
This book makes sense and its lessons should be drilled into our brain. I’ll probably listen to it once every two months or so.