Eat The Frog technique: everything you need to know

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American writer Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

This iconic quote originated the “Eat The Frog” technique, a prioritization and productivity method that allows people to identify the most difficult tasks and get them out of the way first.

This technique will not only stop procrastination but also improve your own personal productivity.

Surely enough, you may have some days when you look at your to-do list and feel drained. How do you know where to start with so many tasks on your planner? How can you identify what’s most important and get it done as soon as possible?

With the “Eat The Frog” method, you can not only beat procrastination but also get a lot more important stuff done and feel less overwhelmed.

What is the “Eat The Frog” technique? 

The “Eat The Frog” technique can be considered a productivity hack, as it’s one of the best time management strategies.

It allows you to achieve constant progress on your top priorities, making them easier to manage and building momentum into your daily schedule by taking away the most difficult or worrying tasks on your agenda first.

How does Eat the frog work?

But how does it work? It’s quite simple! Identify the tasks that are your biggest priorities and the most dreadful to get done. These tasks are your “frogs.”

They can often feel big and unpleasant, and you don’t want to do them, but the good news is that once you clean them off your plate, the rest of the day won’t be so bad. And that’s what this method is all about: 

  • Identify your frog: your hardest and most important tasks for the day.
  • Eat them: do them first thing in the morning, and don’t leave them for later.
  • Repeat every day: turn this technique into a habit and see how you become much more productive.

What tasks can be considered “frogs”?

What is your “frog”? If you have a hard time prioritizing your to-do list, knowing which task your “frog” is the best way to tackle your work. 

In essence, any task can be considered a “frog”, if you procrastinate to no end before you get it done. Nevertheless, some tasks are more likely to be seen as “frogs” than others.

For instance, if a task is supposed to take too much of your time, it’s too difficult, or simply boring, it can be considered a frog. Whether it’s making a report, doing extensive project research, or filling out a lot of paperwork. 

Besides the time and difficulty, a task can be considered a frog if it’s too important, but at the same time, you know it’ll be too demanding and need a lot of focus for a long period of time.

The fear of getting negative feedback or an undesired outcome can affect your confidence and, therefore, your motivation to get it done. Consequently, you will probably postpone it until the last minute and procrastinate until the end. 

Did you know that using this technique is a great way to beat procrastination? Find other tips in our article.

The 5 benefits of the Eat The Frog method

The Eat The Frog method should be in everyone’s productivity arsenal, even if you already use another method, like time blocking.

With this technique, you can develop a deep work habit without distractions or procrastination.

Nowadays, it takes a lot of dedication and focus to fully commit to our work, considering that the available distractions around us are too many.

We’re constantly distracted by different time wasters: emails, meetings, chat messages, and requests for input that we don’t have the time or space to focus on our highest-priority tasks.

1. Push back distractions

The “Eat The Frog” method requires you to push back against all of those distractions, both external (others interrupting you) and internal (you interrupting yourself), and prioritize the tasks that will bring you closer to achieving your goals.

2. Setting your own agenda

The first thing we usually tend to do when we sit down to work is checked our email and incoming messages. However, as soon as you start responding, you’ve conceded your time and attention to what other people urgently want or need you to do.

This kind of reactive prioritization can quickly take over your workday. In contrast, the “Eat The Frog” technique asks you to put your agenda before any other requests.

TIP: Do you know what is a planner and how it helps you with Eat the Frog method? Find everything about them and get to know the best productivity planners on the market.

3. Focus on less, deliver more

This technique forces you to focus on less at a time, even when you know you can do more.

This is one of the best time-saving tips. It’ll reduce your stress at work because you’re not multitasking.

Following this method means you know that you’ll be making progress on something meaningful daily.

According to Brian Tracy, author of the famous book “Eat that Frog!”, this kind of progress is a key motivator and predictor of happiness and engagement at work.

When you experience a win first thing in the morning, you’re more likely to feel much better during your workday.

Did you know that multitasking is one of the main reasons why people feel unproductive at work? Read more in our article.

4. Have better use of your work hours

We all know that the first hour of the morning is when your energy and willpower are higher.

This means that you feel much more productive than the hour after lunch when you only want to curl up and take a nap.

With the “Eat The Frog” technique, you ensure you’re using your best hours to do your most mentally challenging work and leave less important tasks for the rest of the day.

5. It’s super simple and undeniably flexible

Surely, many other time management and productivity methods are a lot more complex to help you overcome procrastination. However, that’s the beauty of this management technique: it’s super simple and super effective.

The “Eat The Frog” method is a simple process anyone can fall back on at any time with very little time or mental resources required.

No matter your job, goals, or circumstances, this technique is an effective way to ensure that you’re making progress on something meaningful each day.

Who can use the Eat The Frog technique?

This technique is great for people who have difficulty determining what their frogs are and people who struggle with procrastination and wish to maximize their productivity. 

It’s many times unclear which task is your frog, and, in that case, this productivity system will surely be a good exercise to implement to maximize it. 

For instance, if you’re one of those people who have dozens of tasks to complete daily, this method is the perfect fit for you.

If you feel pulled in a million directions and overwhelmed by the work you have every day, this technique will help you deal with your workload.

Set a goal to complete at least one high-impact task daily, and that’s already a good start. 

FAQ

Who invented the “Eat The Frog” technique?

Brian Tracy invented the “Eat The Frog” technique. He introduced this method in his book “Eat that Frog!”, where he highlights some tips and features that he thinks are the most important to handle your most important tasks of the day.

Brian was inspired by the iconic quote of the famous American author Mark Twain, which gave him the perception to write.

What does “Eat The Frog” mean?

To put it simply, “Eat The Frog” is the process of identifying your most difficult and draining task of the day, also called the “frog”, and completing it before you do any other work. It’s identifying which task is more challenging and doing that first thing. 

What is the “Eat that Frog!” book?

The book “Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” is a book written by Brian Tracy about overcoming procrastination and learning to manage your time effectively. 

What is the “Eat that Frog!” audiobook? 

The “Eat that Frog!” audiobook is the recording of the full book, where you can listen instead of reading it. You can listen to the book kind of like a podcast, and learn everything about this method.  

Where does the phrase “Eat The Frog” come from?

This method was inspired by the iconic quote of the American writer Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

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