You’ve heard it before. Eat the frog first!! Whether we’re talking about planning our day, our week, or our month you often hear this or similar phrases thrown around.
What does it mean?
How do we actually do it?
Is it something I actually need to do?
Keep reading for my perspective on these questions.
What does it mean to Eat the Frog First?
When you hear this phrase, people are generally talking about doing the thing you’re dreading before you do anything else. It stems from a Mark Twain quote: “If it’s your job to eat the frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, eat the biggest one first.”
In other words, when you look at your To-Do List for the week, what is the one item that you know you’re going to put off to the end of the week? What do you already know you will procrastinate doing?
Since I launched my business 2.5 years ago, my frog was doing videos. Going live absolutely terrified me so I said “oh I’ll just do it later.” Well, later didn’t come until about 2 months ago when I finally hopped on and did a live training in my Facebook group for CEO Moms. I put it off for over TWO YEARS! Now that I’ve done several lives, I’ve realized that I actually really enjoy them!
I know that’s a rather extreme example, but I just wanted to paint the picture for you. Your “frog” is whatever is on your list that you know you need to do, but you really don’t want to do.
The whole idea behind this phrase is to get you to take action and prevent procrastination.
How do we Eat the Frog?
To put it simply, take action!
I start my week by looking for my frog. What tasks or series of smaller tasks do I know I need to do this week but I’m simply dreading doing?
Sometimes it’s writing a blog post or social media posts. Lately I’ve had a bit of writer’s block, so the idea of sitting down to write a blog post wasn’t appealing. As a matter of fact, that’s why this post wasn’t posted on time today. It took me much longer than usual to figure out what to write about.
Once you’ve identified your frog, assign it a day and time, preferably no later than Tuesday afternoon. I knew that I didn’t know what I was going to write about, but I also knew that I had time to figure it out this afternoon. Things kept trying to distract me like the dogs being crazy, checking the mail, etc. Silly things that definitely could have waited. I caught myself being distracted, put those distractions aside, and intentionally turned my full focus on this post.
I suggest removing ALL distractions when you go to eat your frog. Turn off your notifications, close all other tabs, and turn your phone on do not disturb and turn it upside down. Your frog isn’t going to do itself and it wouldn’t be on your To-Do List if it wasn’t important.
Do I really need to?
This depends on your personality more than anything.
Are you the type of person who does everything they put on their list every day simply because they said they would? Or do you require extra motivation to get certain types of things done?
Do you feel accomplished when your To-Do List is completely checked off? Or are you comfortable knowing that not everything on your list will be finished by the end of the day?
Do you have an accountability system set up to help prevent procrastination? Or do you struggle with procrastination?
If you answered “yes” to the first question in each pair, then you probably don’t need to eat your frog first. If you answered yes to the second question, you likely need to eat your frog first.
This is not black and white. I can answer yes to the first question in most areas of my life and business. When it comes to writing and videos, I often answer yes to the second questions. I eat my writing and video frogs first. Then I feel a huge sense of accomplishment and a lot less stress because they are completed before my week is even half over.
Take a look at your To-Do List right now. What is your frog? Now go do it!