Put Purpose First

“Eat the frog first” is a time management concept inspired by Mark Twain and made popular by author Brian Tracy. The idea is to do your worst task – the thing you are most dreading – first, and get it done. The rest of your day looks easy by comparison.

My clients and I want to try something different. I love dessert and sometimes eat it before my meal. What about starting your day – or your week if that’s more practical – with time spent on what you love? Let’s kick TGIF to the curb and remind ourselves of the purpose in our work. Yes, easy to forget when stuck in traffic. Someone once famously told me “At 6 a.m. there are no careers – just jobs!” Funny but fatiguing.

Behind what you do is why you do it. Reach for that. Rediscover what motivated you to join this company, this industry, this field. Your passion may be funded by, but outside of your paid work. That’s okay too. Just find it.

Here’s the new habit: Schedule the first hour of your day (or week) as time spent purposefully. Almost everyone has a pet work project or interest that is languishing. Bring that up to the top of your To Do list. Surprise –  this time spent on passion and purpose can fire you up for all the rest.

If you are lucky, you can just flip your priorities. Some clients get inspired and shift their schedules. They get up earlier and do what they love (running, drawing, cooking, meditating) before they head to work. Others sneak into work earlier before others can interrupt their day. What is the dessert you want to fill up on?

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