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Addressing the frogs in your life

Chair's Message

Rachel D. Polson, CPA | December 2019/January 2020 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated November 26, 2019

The chill has returned in the air and I love it. Perhaps, like many of you, I’m hopeful for a winter with quality snow for snowmobiling and other fun outdoor activities. Not much can compare to the stillness and reflection offered by a frigid day, with your breath visible and red in your cheeks.

But, before I get ahead of myself, I’d like to share some insight I picked up this fall.

Baker Tilly’s firmwide book club recently read “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy. I was intrigued by the title and how eating frogs could possibly relate to business and personal organization. Feeling like an organized person and not much of a procrastinator, I was still interested to see what I could dissect from such a book touting frogs. Like most literary ventures, my hope was to find a few takeaways, thus considering it a good use of time.

Tracy’s book did not disappoint.

Here are some of my takeaways from “Eat That Frog!”:
  • Limit interruptions from emails, phone and social media; focus your attention for 90-minute time periods.
  • Eat the “live frog,” defined as “your biggest, most important task,” first thing in your day.
  • Plan your day, week and month; incorporate your goals — use lists, write things down or use the tasks feature on your electronic devices.
  • Prioritize your lists and, as suggested by the author, consider, “What can I and only I do that, if done well, will make a real difference?”
  • Seek (or retain) optimism! — “Look for the good in every situation.”
  • Remember to also consider goals related to family, relationships, finances, health and community — all important for living a long, happy and healthy life.
Do you see yourself succeed or struggle in any of these areas? It’s easy for us to get wrapped up, despite our best intentions, in the daily distractions and smaller tasks that seemingly rise to the top of the proverbial pile.

If you’ve read the book, I’d be interested in hearing your takeaways or how you’ve put these ideas into action. What are your live frogs? How will you eat them?

A frog among Footnote?

Perhaps one of the topics covered in this issue of Footnote is in your bucket of frogs — or they may just interest you. Take a look:
  • Insight from 16 students about their expectations for the accounting profession and their respective careers.
  • How to leverage key performance indicators to get the most out of your operations.
  • A conversation with a mentor and mentee about their relationship, and how mentorships can benefit more firms.
As noted in “Eat That Frog!”, “There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do.” How will you use your 24 hours for your highest value activities?

Happy holidays!

Rachel D. Polson, CPA
Chair, MNCPA board of directors