Eat that Frog- the key points
“If the first thing you do every morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through your day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day.”*
Personal development author Brian Tracy has written a short book call “Eat that Frog”. It’s all about getting more of the most important things done sooner, and avoiding procrastination. This post covers the key points from the book
Main PrincipleThe overarching principle is to eat the frog first.
This is the principle that you should do your most unpleasant, difficult and ugliest task first thing in the morning, and then if nothing else is achieved in the whole day- at least you have been successful in that.
It sounds a little odd, but it is an excellent principle. Do your most important work first, and you will move forwards. How often do you find yourself just easing yourself into the day, checking this, chatting about that, putting off the most important stuff for later? The problem with that approach is that it is very ineffective in the long run, you do less of the important stuff and more of the fluff around the edges.
The ability to concentrate solely on one task at a time and see it through to completion is crucial to becoming more effective in all areas of life.
Other PointsThere are a few knock on analogies that fall out of the principle of frog eating:
- - If you are eating a live frog it doesn’t help to sit and look at it for a long time (get on with it- build momentum).
- - If you are eating a live frog, you are much better just getting on and doing it as quickly as possible (helping avoid procrastination).
- - And, if there are two frogs that need eating, eat the ugliest one first (prioritise effectively).
Personal ApplicationHow do you spot a frog that needs eating? Three questions will help you identify it:
- - What are my highest value activities?
- - What can I and only I do that if done well will make a real difference?
- - What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
Answering those three questions will help you spot what the frogs are for you. We all need to spend more time on the things that matter most, that have the highest return for our efforts. Prioritising these will allow the other matters to fit in around them.
That’s just about it. The book is short, and actually a lot of it repeats the same message in slightly different ways. There’s chapters on controlling technology, breaking tasks down to manageable chunks, building momentum amongst others but the gist of the message remains the same. Do the most important things first and you will be more successful.
Eat that frog.
What should I review next? Is there a book on time or money that you’ve been meaning to read and want to get the key points out of first? Drop a comment below or comment on the facebook page.
*Brian attributes this quote to Mark Twain, there’s actually no evidence he actually said it. It’s better sourced from 18th Century France.