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Start the Day on the Right Note – Eat the Frog

by Anna Eisner-Kollmann, 06.04.2023

It doesn't always have to be cereal, sometimes a frog will do. That's right – with the “Eat the Frog” method, the most unpleasant or even most urgent to-do (“the frog”) is taken care of first thing in the morning in order to start the day with a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction. If you want to know how this works and what Mark Twain has to do with it, you should definitely read on.

“Eat the Frog” Method

The method is a simple yet effective strategy for improving productivity and task accomplishment. By focusing on the day’s most important task and completing it first, you avoid the all-too-familiar “procrastination.” By eating the frog for breakfast, to-dos don’t get delayed, and you don’t get tempted to procrastinate. Of course, eating the frog can also increase your self-confidence and motivation and make the rest of the day successful.

But Why a Frog?

The name “Eat the Frog” originates from a famous quote by American writer Mark Twain, who once said: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” This quote means something like: If you eat a frog (on the meta-level, that is, a difficult or unpleasant task) at the beginning of the day, nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. In many books about time management, the concept of prioritization has been discussed for many years. American author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy finally popularized it in a striking way by bringing the frog metaphor into play. He wrote the 2001 book “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.” As a result, Tracy established this time management method as an effective technique for increasing productivity and efficiency.

Why You Should Eat Frogs

There are several reasons why you should consider using the “Eat the Frog” method:

  • Increasing productivity: By doing the day’s most important task first, you avoid distractions and improve productivity.
  • Boosting motivation: Completing the most significant task in the morning can boost confidence and motivation to complete the rest of the day successfully.
  • Reduction of stress: once the frog is eaten, you can feel the weight lifting off your shoulders. That reduces stress because you don’t have to worry about it during the day.

How Time Tracking Can Help

You can now integrate the “Eat the Frog” method into your everyday work through various approaches. A time-tracking system can be beneficial when using the method. With TimeTac, for example, you can easily:

1. Prioritize tasks. Don’t get distracted by small tasks that you could do quickly. Prioritize your to-do list and complete the most important task first – even if it’s unpleasant or difficult. You can approach the rest of the day with a sense of accomplishment by checking off this task first.

2. Plan daily routines. Schedule your time so that you set aside at least an hour each morning to complete your most essential task.

3. Block time. Block out your time in the morning and avoid scheduling meetings, phone calls, or other appointments to focus on your most important task.

4. Set goals. Set clear goals and try to complete your tasks within a specific time frame. This way, you will avoid getting lost in details and wasting your time on less important tasks.

What Else You Need to Know?

It is crucial that the method is used regularly to develop a sense of discipline and routine. Over time, the “Eat the Frog” method can help increase productivity and improve the success rate of completing significant tasks. TimeTac is happy to help you with this.

So, the next time you face a complex and unpleasant task, skip the cereal and eat the frog first! You will be surprised how much more productive and successful your day can be.

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