One of the best phrases I’ve heard to help get my day started on the right foot, and make the best use of time, is “start your day by eating a frog.”
That is, most every day we have some less than pleasant (if not awful) task on our “to do” list that we must simply get done. Consider this your frog. If we don’t start our day by eating the frog that gross activity remains in the back of our mind as something we’ll get to, later today. And, each time we think about this we burn energy (stress) and take focus away from the other tasks on our plate.
By starting our day eating that frog we promptly put that unpleasant task behind us leaving more energy and focus on doing the more interesting / fun tasks and activities we have before us.
While this is a crucially important discipline for our daily activities let’s expand this across a lifetime with a broader statement:
Do what you have to do as quickly as possible so you can do what you want to do for as long as possible.” ~ Author Unknown
Is there something standing between you and your goals and dreams that feels like it will take forever (or, more likely, several months or years) to accomplish? Is it a college degree, a training program, certification, paying off that debt, etc?
Realize: You only live once. The time it takes to address the above will pass anyway. Why not start RIGHT NOW on getting done what you need to get done so that you can put it behind you and then enjoy the benefits of realizing the positive outcome for a longer period of time.
For example, if you are an hourly worker toying with how rapidly to go after that degree a key factor “may” include (but is likely not limited to): If I increase my course load (perhaps even go full-time) I will need to reduce or limit the number of hours I can work (earn an income).
While that “may” be true, there are several things to consider…
Let’s say it will take you 2 years of focused effort to complete that “in process” degree. By applying this (necessary) focused effort to “get’er done” you may need to let your employer know that you need to reduce your available working hours to less than 40 hours per week and/or forego any overtime. To keep things simple, let’s say this costs you $200 per week. Assuming you work 52 weeks per year this would result in $10,400 per year and $20,800 over the course of 2 years. OUCH, right?
Well, let’s think about the longer-term. What if you NAILED that degree in this 2-year period, taking the hit of $20,800. By achieving this advanced degree you should qualify for higher paying jobs that would increase your annual salary by MORE THAN $20,000 – PER YEAR. As a result, you will realize a one-year payback on that investment. And, more importantly, you will then be able to reap the rewards of this increased salary for many years to come. For example, over the course of a mere 5 years you will have earned $100,000 more than you would have if you had NOT completed that degree, landing you that higher paying job.
Don’t be like “most people” who only look at what is staring them in the face (today’s reality) and say “I’ll get to this (what I need to do to achieve my longer-term goals), at some point.” Most, never do…
Another great quote that applies here is:
Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. ~ Jim Rohn
While you are going after that advanced degree, your current employer will likely observe your increased focus and commitment as well as your skill-set improving – as you are investing in yourself. That is, not only are you taking the steps to achieve the degree, but you are expanding your knowledgebase and applying it to your current job (whether you consciously know it or not). If your current employer has any wits about them, they will acknowledge this and reward you accordingly. And, if they don’t, you have increased your options (you are now more valuable than you were prior to going down this path).
And, finally, if your goals and dreams are such, you can continue to repeat this process (investing in yourself / increasing your income) to ANY LEVEL you wish! Did you know there is NO LIMIT to the amount of income someone can earn each year? This (no limit) applies to you, too!
Go for it!