This month VAN has been talking about the idea of “swallow your frog”. Get that most difficult task done, so the day goes smoother. I shared this idea with my coworkers. Many of us have been tackling our frogs and proudly sharing with each other our accomplishments. I’m excited to see the people I work with sharing and benefiting from the frog endeavor.
I don’t always take on my most difficult challenge first thing in the morning. Sometimes I need a little more coffee. However, even fully caffeinated I can get stalled. I’ve discovered my biggest challenge to getting things done. It’s the should monster. Perhaps you know this particular creature? It’s that voice inside, nagging at me about what I “should” do. Even if I’ve swallowed my frog, those if those shoulds pile up throughout the day I lose my energy as I become more overwhelmed.
I’ve been “shoulding” myself about writing this. Yesterday, I decided the first thing I would do is finish this article. In a few moments I’ll have that sense of accomplishment. This was an easy should to deal with. I like writing. It’s a task that doesn’t depend on others and it’s a manageable size. So many of my shoulds aren’t like that. I even have shoulds about my feelings; “I shouldn’t feel upset about that conversation”.
So as well as eating my frog first thing in the morning I’m battling my should monster during the day. I want to send out that volunteer report. It’s important to make the phone call. I wish I didn’t feel stressed about that meeting. That’s what swallowing the frog is about, taking a “should” and turning it into to something else. First it becomes, “I will” and then it becomes “I did it!” This is something I want (no shoulds here), to feel empowered as I navigate the tasks and challenges of my day.
Written by: Chris Holland, VAN Steering committee