When I survey friends and colleagues, I find it’s a mixed bag on whether or not they have heard the phrase, “Eat the Frog”!
“Eat the frog” was inspired by a Mark Twain quote that says, “If the first thing you do in the morning is to eat the frog, then you can continue your day with the satisfaction of knowing that this is probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day”.
From there, some say Bill Gates popularized the term and Brian Tracy then expanded upon in a book entitled “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time“.
Nonetheless, this concept of eating the frog became a game changer in my business and everyday life.
‘Eat The Frog’ In Practice
The premise behind eating the frog is to get the hard stuff done first and move on with the rest of your to-dos.
The first step is to identify the #1 most important task that needs to be accomplished that day. Secondly, complete that task first before you give yourself the opportunity to put it off. What kind of impact would that have on the rest of your day?
This could mean doing that task first thing in the morning and getting it over with. Or, it might be planning to tackle that one thing first when you sit down with some uninterrupted time. The ‘when’ is up to you, but eating the frog can be a powerful productivity tool for you, your business and your daily life.
Lastly, repeat this process every day. You will be surprised how much more productive and mentally focused you become once you get that hardest item off your list.
Here’s how I’ve applied it…
As a list person, I like being able to see everything I have on my plate in one location. Time and time again, I would find myself avoiding certain tasks.
Sometimes the task is something that feels difficult, scary, or unfamiliar. Sometimes it’s something that requires a certain level of emotional bandwidth that I’d like to avoid expending.
For years, I’d create my lists and no matter what job I had to do, there were always one or two things that just wouldn’t happen. It didn’t mean they weren’t important or urgent, but I just couldn’t get them done. Even when in some instances doing that hard thing first would have made other things on my list easier .
Then I discovered the concept of “Eating the Frog”. In the process of learning about this tool for getting work done efficiently, I realized I wasn’t alone! In fact, countless people have items on their task list that get pushed aside, avoided or simply ignored for any number of reasons.
Who does this help?
If any of the following characteristics sound familiar to you, keep reading!
- Feelings of overwhelm or dread by one or more of the things on your to-do list
- Struggle with prioritizing your work (also refer to the Eisenhower Matrix)
- Struggles with procrastination
- Struggles with systems for keeping your lists of things to be done organized
- Struggles with deadlines and time management
Of all the tips and tricks I’ve learned in my adult life, I truly believe eating the frog is likely one of the simplest, yet most profound tools in my toolbox. Being a person with ADHD, I have always struggled with focus. I was given many tools/resources to be successful in my life, but when I sat down for the first time and I ate the frog I can say first hand, I knew exactly what Mark Twain meant.
When I eat the frog, my day always gets better. The thing that needs to be done doesn’t have to be a terrible, no good, very bad thing, it just has to be done first. Once it’s finished, I feel that sense of relief and joy that the hardest part of my day is over! And then I can focus on the remaining items on my list and increase productivity considerably.
Learning to eat the frog is an easy tool to add to your daily routine. Practicing it every day will enable you to be in charge of your own agenda as well as create positive work habits. It will set you up for success each day!
So, what frog shall you eat today?
Click the image below to purchase the book from Amazon.