Before you get too squeamish, “Eat That Frog” refers to a productivity method made famous by author and success authority Brian Tracy. According to Brian, he got the idea for it from a quote by Mark Twain.
“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 it is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” - Brian Tracy
With Brian’s Eat That Frog method, he encourages you to identify the one major task you need to accomplish each day. It should be the biggest, hardest, and most important thing.
That task is your frog.
And you need to eat it (do it) first thing in the day before other to-dos and distractions derail you.
If you’ve never tried this method, use these four steps to get started.
Many great leaders like to plan their week on Sunday night or Monday morning. Part of their planning often includes identifying their frog for each day. Stepping back with a weekly view can be very helpful for strategic planning. To get started, try one day at a time.
“Action will destroy your procrastination.” - Og Mandino
If you’re not sure what your frog is, it might be:
A word of caution—don’t try to make a massive project your frog for the day. Instead, break up the tasks you need to complete the project and make one of those tasks your frog each day. This way, you avoid getting overwhelmed and giving up. Each day, you’ll make progress toward the end goal, and the momentum will help keep you energized so you can make it to the finish line.
Writing down your frog gives you clarity and accountability. Just the simple act of writing or typing the words gives you focus and makes the goal trackable. Studies have also proven that you are much more likely to achieve goals when you write them down.
“If you write it down, you can make it happen.” — Staness Jonekos
Office Otter can help you track your frog each day. Just text us at (949)541-9042 or email us ( email@example.com) to set up a task for the day. Add a priority using #now. You can even create a label for “Frog” or whatever word helps you identify your most important task.
Marking the task complete releases dopamine in the brain. So, every day that you eat the frog, you literally feel good. Pretty soon, your brain starts seeking the reward from completing tasks, and it becomes a habit.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” —Nelson Mandela
It may not come easy at first. There are so many devices, people and distractions vying for your attention. Try blocking out time on your calendar so colleagues can’t book meetings.
If you still can’t get time to complete your tasks at the start of the workday, try coming in 30 minutes early when the office is quiet. You may need to give your boss a heads up that you are using your first time in the day to advance big priorities. Knowing that, he or she can help you protect that time.
A study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes roughly 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. If you forget one day, pick it back up the day after. Keep trying.
“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it.” ―Horace Mann
Eating your frog each day is a habit that can produce huge gains. Over time, it becomes second nature and moves you incrementally forward toward your larger goals.