Hungry for productivity? Eat a frog!

Original date: 1 Feb 2012

We are one month into 2012 – how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming?  If you are having a little trouble staying on-task at work, you might want to eat the frog.

In 2001, Brian Tracy, author, speaker and consultant, came out with his book Eat That Frog! subtitled “21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.”  The small book, just shy of 120 pages, is a quick read of usable tips to improve productivity. 

Today’s blog is short because it doesn’t take long to get to the heart of a short book!  Tracy proposes that among the many tasks we face everyday, often there is one over-arching, big hairy deal that we must do, but often put off because of its complexity, lack of clear goals, or because the other things are more enjoyable.  Tracy noted, “…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.”  Hence his proposal to Eat That Frog

Tracy reminds us that the frog is the most important task, and one you are most likely to procrastinate if you don’t do some thing right now.  But, the frog is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.

When I finished the book, I started bringing a frog to work.  Not a slimy, bog frog, nor a famed West Texas horned toad.  Just a simple, plastic, toy frog.  At the end of the workday, I find the most important task for the next morning and place the toy frog on top of that file, notepad, or post-it note.  If the task relates to an email, I may print the email and set the frog on that, or make a note on a post-it and place the frog and post-it on my keyboard.  It grabs my attention in the morning and helps me avoid other interference.

Thanks to Dave Ramsey for mentioning Eat That Frog! among his list of suggested books during his daily radio show.  Hope you find a frog or a similar way to stay on task this year.