“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
― Mark Twain
Have you heard that expression? (Actually coined by Nicolas Chamfort, it became attributed to Twain after his death.)
Origin aside, the quote refers to the act of ridding oneself of the most ghastly obstacle that is required first. By eating a ‘frog’ in the morning (i.e. doing the worst or hardest task first), you know that the rest of the day will be far better in comparison.
Self-help guru, Brian Tracy, wrote the book on this subject called Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.
Tracy details the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more.
At Garden Media, we are very goal oriented. Clear written goals ensure you, your team and your clients are all on the same page. Just as important, goals organize your day and motivate you into action.
The way we create goals is twofold.
First, we create quarterly action plans based on a public relations campaign or yearly proposal. This high level spreadsheet details everything that needs to get done over the next 3 months with deadlines, notes and tasks assigned to individuals.
Next, we break that action plan into daily goals. Each morning begins with the most important task, or, the 'frog'.
This is a common company practice. Here is a quick video detailing how this is important from Fast Company:
"Getting things done is a habit, and if you start every day by accomplishing something important, you'll get more done than 90% of the people in the office."
Ready to be more productive than ever before?
How to Eat a Frog in 4 Steps
Here are a few of our favorite tips from Tracy's Eat a Frog to put into use right now.
1. Write down a list of tasks you are going to do tomorrow that will get you closer to your goals (do it for your personal life first and repeat later for your job).
You can ask yourself these questions:
- What are my highest value activities?
- What can I and only I do that if done well will make a real difference?
- What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
2. The answer to the last question is your biggest frog. That will be the first task you are going to do tomorrow.
3. Set yourself up for success by creating a plan for the task. Plan how you are going to complete that task tomorrow morning. Get all the necessary tools ready and in place.
For some that means getting up earlier or getting in the office earlier. If you think that will increase the likelihood of having no distractions, then this is great step for you! Now, you can focus on your most important tasks.
4. At the end of your work day, repeat step #1, every single (work)day.
It takes less than 5 minutes to do the above steps every day, but it can dramatically change your life.
Let us know in the comments below how this simple productivity tip is working out for you.