Single Handle Every Task

By: Brian Tracy

Eat that frog! Every bit of planning, prioritizing and organizing comes down to this simple concept.

Your ability to select your most important task, to begin it and then to concentrate on it single mindedly until it is complete is the key to high levels of performance and personal productivity.

The Requirement for Every Great Achievement

Every great achievement of mankind has been preceded by a long period of hard, concentrated work until the job was done. Single handling requires that once you begin, you keep working at the task, without diversion or distraction, until the job is 100% complete. You keep urging yourself onward by repeating the words "Back to work!" over and over whenever you are tempted to stop or do something else.

Reduce Your Time By 50%

By concentrating single mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more.

It has been estimated that the tendency to start and stop a task, to pick it up, put it down and come back to it can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500%.

Each time you return to the task, you have to familiarize yourself with where you were when you stopped and what you still have to do. You have to overcome inertia and get yourself going again. You have to develop momentum and get into a productive work rhythm.

Develop Energy and Enthusiasm
But when you prepare thoroughly and then begin, refusing to stop or turn aside until the job is done, you develop energy, enthusiasm and motivation. You get better and better and more productive. You work faster and more effectively.

Never Waste Time

The truth is that once you have decided on your number one task, anything else that you do other than that is a relative waste of time. Any other activity is just not as valuable or as important as this job, based on your own priorities.

Action Exercises

Eat That Frog! Take action! Resolve today to select the most important task or project that you could complete and then launch into it immediately.

Once you start your most important task, discipline yourself to persevere without diversion or distraction until it is 100% complete. See it as a "test" to determine whether you are the kind of person who can make a decision to complete something and then carry it out. Once you begin, refuse to stop until the job is finished.


  1. Hi Mr Biggs,

    Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it!
    To be great, concentrate. Most people remain ordinary because they scatter their energy.

    Indeed, we ought to discipline ourself to persevere without diversion or distraction until it is 100% complete.

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Biggs!

    Best Wishes
    Let's Acquire Wisdom and Live with Passion

  2. Hey Mr. Biggs,
    I have just added you to the Personal Development List. A list of bloggers like you who are dedicated to personal development. If you want to participate in spreading the word, just post about the list and cut and paste the list in the post. See my blog for details.


  3. Anonymous4:28 PM

    You have been tagged for The Personal Development List. (See my site for details), I would love for you to participate.

  4. Thanks Sam!! Your comment has summed up my post!

    Hi Alexys I would do that in my next post. Thanks for letting me know

    Priscilla I would love to participate!

  5. Anonymous3:12 AM

    Hey Mr. Biggs!

    This has been my biggest challenge all week. I have so much on my To Do list that I get overwhelmed and can't stay focused on the task at hand. However, today I really did make an effort to focus and it paid off! I think it's all about "staying in the moment" and just enjoying what you're doing and not thinking about the future.

  6. Maria thanks for your comment. I guess we all face the same challenge from time to time. The hard part is to be consistent. You are right "staying in the moment" is the key