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Eat that Frog!

With more on our plates every day and time seeming to slip by at an increasingly rapid pace, this unique approach to time management from a book by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” resonated strongly with me.

Get More Done In Less Time = Eat That Frog.

If you are like me, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time. As you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities keep rolling in, like the waves of the ocean. Because of this, you will never be able to do everything you have to do.

For this reason, and perhaps more than ever before, your ability as a leader is to select your most important task at each moment, and then to get started on that task, get it done both quickly and effectively. To help you and others be more effective and efficient, we must remember the story about frogs!

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are mostly likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and resultsfor you and your organization.

The first rule of frog eating is this:
If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.

 This is another way of saying that if you and those you lead have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.

Although it’s so much easier to push off the “ugliest frog” in favor of fighting fires and cleaning up all the odds & ends and easy fixes, I think that frog eating should be my goal!

Andrea McAfee

Controller

Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

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  1. October 31, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Andrea – Great blog entry and so true. Eating the frog was probably the one thing that has really helped me have productive days. My “frog” might not be the biggest most important thing of the day, but it might be my least favorite thing. By getting it taken care of first, everything else seems to get done with even less effort!

  2. Anonymous
    October 31, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Andrea — I can eat that frog in 5 bites!! You nailed this one… thanks for passing along the book and the info!!

  3. December 1, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    Thanks for the book reference. Compels me to go get it. Procrastination–one of my biggest enemies.

  4. July 8, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    It’s an awesome piece of writing for all the web people; they will get benefit from it I am sure.

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