Podcast Episode 83 — Productivity Strategy: Eat The Frog
Today I want to talk about one of my favorite productivity strategies, Eat The Frog. The concept of ‘eating the frog’ comes from a quote that has been attributed to Mark Twain:
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
Which makes a lot of sense, at least to me.
So, how do we apply this to productivity?
Do the biggest, most challenging task first every day. If you’re not a morning person, adjust your time blocks so that you’re “eating the frog” when you’re most productive each day.
I know what you’re thinking. Just one task, Lisa? I have a zillion things I need to get done — how will it help me to do one single task?
It’s a psychology thing. Once your most significant, most dreaded task is completed, you will feel less stressed, motivating you to complete your other tasks.
The ‘eat the frog’ method is best if you are:
- a procrastinator
- indecisive about what to work on
- you’re getting things done, but not the important stuff
- you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list
- you have a hard time sticking to a productivity system
Here are the rules for eating the frog:
1. Don’t check your email first.
2. Don’t surf social media first.
3. The task you choose should take 2–3 hours maximum. If it’s going to take longer, you need to break it down into smaller tasks.
4. Don’t plan your frogs out for the next week. Just do one day at a time.
5. Look at your list the night before and figure out what your frog will be in the morning.
Why it works:
Work that requires all of your mental resources to be focused on one thing, such as problem-solving, writing, designing, or planning, isn’t supported in most workplaces. Or at home, for that matter. Generally, we are constantly distracted by many things — emails, social media, texts, and even…