Many years ago, when I was doing research and planning the content of my new book, IT Management Models, I met an old colleague and friend for lunch. To collect notes and image ideas for the book, I carried a small journal with me dedicated to this project.\nI showed him the journal and described the book that I planned to write. The journal had a single page with a crudely drawn image on it for each IT management model I planned to write about. At this point there were probably around 20 models.\nPaul looked through the book and quickly said, \u201cIf you\u2019re going to write a book like this, you need to include \u2018Bite the Head of a Frog.\u2019\u201d\nI had no idea what it was, so he explained. I decided right then that it belonged in the models book because the management principles are very appropriate for IT managers of the world. I drew a crude image of a frog on a new journal page and added a few notes. I have used this model myself ever since.\nSince then I\u2019ve delivered 80 IT Manager Institute classes and mention the \u201cBite the Head of a Frog\u201d model to my students in every class. Just like my initial response, no one is familiar with it. Below is the IT management model, \u201cBite the Head of a Frog.\u201d\nBite the Head of a Frog\nTough issues and decisions often get put off until a \u201cbetter time\u201d to deal with them. When you have a painful or difficult issue to deal with, make it a point to go into the office and deal with the issue early or at a specific time, i.e., do the distasteful deed proactively and get it out of the way.\nYou will find that it\u2019s less stressful for you and has a positive impact on your productivity as you won\u2019t be worried about the issue all day.\nTake care of your most \u201cdistasteful\u201d issue first and it clears the way for a better day.\nMost of us have this thing called a \u201cprocrastination factor.\u201d When we have a tough issue to deal with, we often put it off until the very last possible moment.\nThis burns up a tremendous amount of energy, creates a lot of stress and lowers our productivity quite a bit because we can\u2019t stop thinking about the tough session we are about to have when we finally deal with our tough issue. There is a solution. Take care of your ugliest situation first thing in the day and get it out of the way.\nLet me give you an example\nI had a manager who reported to me one time who had a problem employee. He worked and struggled with the employee for several months to no avail. Finally, after placing the employee on a formal improvement program and still not seeing any improvement, it came down to the fact that he needed to terminate the employee.\nThe manager stressed about the issue quite a bit, especially on the day he planned to do the termination. He goes to get the employee toward the end of the day on a Friday to terminate his employment and guess what. The employee was already gone. This was one of the reasons he was about to be fired; we couldn\u2019t keep him focused on his job.\nMy poor manager had to stress about this issue all weekend. On the following Monday, he takes care of the issue as soon as the problem employee arrived at work.\n\u201cBite the Head of a Frog\u201d certainly applies to situations like this one.\nThe bottom line is that waiting until the end of the day to deal with a distasteful issue doesn\u2019t do anyone any good. You are wasting everyone\u2019s time, even the problem employee\u2019s time. You most likely don\u2019t need this employee hanging around all day.\nPlus the manager is stressing all day and not getting very much accomplished because his head is not in the game so to speak. He is thinking about the upcoming meeting and analyzing what to say and how it\u2019s going to go. So, save everyone some grief and take care of the issue early in the day, i.e., \u201cbite the head of a frog.\u201d\nKey points\n\nDeal with the \u201cugly\u201d issues early and avoid procrastination: Once you are prepared, tackle your toughest issues early and avoid procrastinating. Putting it off doesn\u2019t do anything but build up anxiety and cause you to lose focus on important issues of the day so handle the problem and move on.\nAddress tough issues early in the day: Handling your toughest issues first thing will make you feel better that day. Think of it as \u201cbiting the head of the frog\u201d being the worst thing you have to do that day. Go ahead, do it, and get past it so you can be productive the rest of the day.\nEvaluate consequences and prepare for the impact: Once you determine how you need to handle tough issues, it\u2019s best to go ahead and handle it. Be sure to evaluate the downside and possible ramifications so you go in prepared. In many cases, the toughest part is the anxiety that builds leading up to when you actually deal with the issue. If you have prepared well, handling the issue won\u2019t be as tough as you think.\nPlan for the event and get your act together: Do whatever it takes to prepare. Seek help from those with experience in such matters and develop a planned approach. If it\u2019s a really tough employee or client issue, it\u2019s worth the time to prepare.\nApproach the issue with a win-win perspective: Approach tough situations with a win-win attitude and seek a way for both you and the other party to find something positive with your solution. For example, if I have to fire someone for consistent unacceptable performance, I approach the issue in the perspective that I\u2019m helping the employee move on to another career opportunity where he\/she will be successful. It\u2019s unfair for the company, my team, myself and especially the employee to allow him\/her to continue working when he\/she is not going to be successful.\n\nYou will find this model is helpful in both professional and personal life issues. Use it to break through your \u201cprocrastination factor,\u201d and it will improve your situation.