Geeks on Campus

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Seinfeld and Frog Motivation

Posted by jeggent on August 20, 2014

I would watch a show called “Seinfeld and Frog”….

Pick-a-Mix Motivation

MotivationI have read a number of posts and books about productivity and motivation.  The closest I’ve found to being perfect for me is David Allan’s Getting Things Done (Amazon #1 in Time Management).  However GTD doesn’t say much about prioritization and motivation.  So I’ve come up with something of a hybrid of the Seinfeld Productivity Secret (AKA don’t break the chain) and Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog! (Amazon #1 in Total Quality Management).

The Frogs, The Chains, and The Dew

The Frogs

Even when I am doing a great job with the Getting Things Done system I still sometimes procrastinate on important items.  I read Eat That Frog! some time ago but never really got into the practice.  The super short summary of Eat That Frog! is to identify the thing you are least looking forward to doing each day and do that first.  The theory is that if you do the thing you are most dreading first and get it out of the way then you will be more productive the rest of the day.  My problem with the way I had been interpreting this concept is that my frog may not be as valuable an activity as other things.  To make eating frogs work for me, I had to re-define what the frogs were.  I decided that my frog each day would be whatever task is the most important that day.

The Chain

The quick summery of the Seinfeld Productivity Secret is that you check off on the calendar each day that do whatever it is you’ve resolved to do each and every day.  Then, once you have checked off several days in a row you would not want to “break the chain” by not doing your task(s).  My issue with this is that things change for me so much from day to day that I couldn’t identify a single activity to track each (work) day.  So I am adding the idea of the chain to the frog eating.  I will track the frog eating on the calendar and try not to break the chain.

The Dew

As you can see from the picture, I was having some trouble getting a good chain going.  To help get the ball rolling I decided to put something on the line each day.  I basically gave up drinking pop about a year ago because it’s so bad for you.  But I still love it.  When I found these small cans of Mountain Dew I thought they would work well with the whole “frogs/chains” thing.  To get the most benefit out of this system you really should do your frog task in the morning.  When I get my frog eaten in the morning then I allow myself a mini-dew during lunch.

The Summary

Each evening before I leave work, I decide on my frog for the next day and write it on my dry erase board.  The next day when I finish that task, I get to put a check on that day on the calendar and continue my chain.  If I get the task done before lunch then I also get to have some pop with lunch.  Of course you are welcome to try this exact same technique to get motivated and finish more important tasks.  However I think your best bet is to keep reading and create a system that works for you.  Good luck with that.