Eating “frogs”. A strategy for getting more done daily.

Mark Twain once said that we should eat a live frog the first thing every morning, because that would likely be the worst experience of the day, and we would benefit from getting it over with right away. Motivational expert Brian Tracy picked up on this notion and recommends identifying and acting on your most distasteful tasks—a.k.a. “frogs”—daily.

And here I sit, penning this column, with a few frogs of my own chirping from the sidelines, waiting to be dealt with. They have to do with making some important phone calls, and could result in flat-out rejection, so I’m dreading them a bit. But you have my word that before I finish this submission, I will swallow at least one. Tracy recommends these tips to deal with frogs successfully:

  • Eat them at the start of your day, with no delay. Getting into this habit gives you a clear plan of action and sidesteps paralysis by analysis, as you know your initial action will be a challenging, yet important one.
  • Eat the worst, first. Make a list of your highest priority frogs, and identify the one you dread the most. For me that’s a call to a CFO at a major area hospital. I’ve discovered that CFOs are usually extremely nice, but getting to them through their conscientious gatekeepers can be a bit unnerving.
  • Remember that frog-eating results in great surges of energy. Tracy refers to this as developing a positive addition to the endorphins that are released when you do something you know is important, but that you’ve been afraid to do.

I just did it…swallowed my worst frog and made the call, and it worked out exactly as I’d hoped. I do feel energized, and can see where a practice of eating my worst frog first every day would improve results and strengthen self-belief. So I commit to you, and to myself, to start of every business day by eating a croaker, for the next month. Then I’ll be able to see what benefits a steady diet of frogs offers.

Photo Courtesy:  © Janpietruszka | Dreamstime Stock Photos