I used to be a massive procrastinator. When I had to do something that I was dreading I would postpone it to the last possible moment. Or sometimes I did not even do it at all. But while procrastinating I do feel guilty the entire time of not doing it. Something that helps me to avoid these things was to eat that frog. But what does eat that frog mean? In this article, I will describe what eating a frog means, where it originated from, and how I use it in my personal life.
What does eat that frog mean?
Imagine that you are living in a fairy tale. And at some point in time, you manage to piss off a witch. The witch puts a curse on you. From now on, you have to eat a disgusting frog every single day, or you will die. Sounds a bit dramatic, but hey so are witches in fairy tales.
There are two directions in which you can live your now “frog a day” lifestyle. I used to be an advocate of the first. keep postponing it until the last possible moment (and maybe get some deadline pressure to finish it off). As a result, you eat the frog just before going to bed. Great? Not so much. For every single day in the rest of your life, you will have a voice in the back of your mind. “Tonight you still have to eat that disgusting frog”.
The other approach is the opposite. Eat that frog first thing in the morning. Every single day tackle your biggest issue first. And live the rest of your day worry-free.
The terminology of “eating that frog” has been around for years. One of the earliest occurrences is a quote by Mark Twain.
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.Mark Twain
Brian Tracy wrote a book called Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. Which explores this concept in depth. And in my opinion is a must-read if you are interested in Time Management and being more productive.
As I described in the introduction, I used to be a master procrastinator. But during procrastination, I would usually feel pretty bad. That changed when I got introduced to eat that frog during a minor in Time Management at my University.
One example of my procrastination that comes to mind is an incident at the age of 16. I almost got a delay in my studies because I postponed the assignment of finding an internship. Fresh out of high school the idea of just calling companies felt so overwhelming. That I postponed making those calls. I did feel the reminder burning in the back of my mind. And every day that the deadline came closer. That burning sensation grew.
Countless occasions of the example above have taught me that there is only one way to face these things. Head on! Make sure I do them as the first thing on my list. With eat that frog I was able to minimize my procrastination tendencies.
What does eat that frog mean? It is a time management skill that focuses on tackling your biggest scariest task first. This way you will stop procrastinating and finish more important tasks throughout your day.
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