“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”Mark Twain
“Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.
The first rule of frog-eating is: If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.
This is another way of saying that, if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then be persistent until the task is complete before you go on to something else. Think of this as a ‘test.’ Treat it like a personal challenge. Resist the temptation to start with the easier task. Continually remind yourself that one of the most important decisions you make each day is your choice of what you will do immediately and what you will do later, if you do it at all.
The second rule of frog-eating is: If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.
The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is for you to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of ‘Eating your frog’ before you do anything else, and without taking too much time to think about it.
My quick summary here attempts to condense this book into a few insights. He of course goes into much more detail with lots of inspiring quotes and ideas. Implementing even a small number of these techniques will result in greatly increased effectiveness.
DO NOT WAIT, the time will never be right!
The Seven Step Method
1. Decide exactly what you want
2. Write it down – thinking on paper is critical
3. Set a deadline on your goal
4. List the steps necessary for achievement
5. Organize the list into a plan
6. Take action on your plan immediatel
7. Do something every day to move closer to that goal
Questions to Ask Yourself for Maximum Productivity:
1. What are my highest value activities? (Think to yourself, then ask others)
2. What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
The more accurate your answers are to these questions, the easier it will be to set priorities and do the most valuable task.
There is never enough time to do everything, but there is enough time to do the most important things. A handful of your tasks are likely much more valuable than any of the others The most powerful word is “no." Say no to anything not a clear high-value use of time.
DO NOT check voicemail/e-mail first thing in the morning! Just because someone sends you an e-mail does not mean you have an obligation to respond immediately. Create zones of silence in your life where no one or nothing can reach you. Maintain inner calm by pausing on a regular basis to listen to the silence.
Identify the most important things you do, and make a plan to continually upgrade those skills.
You can learn any skills necessary to be more productive/effective steps to mastery:
2. Listen to audio during downtime
3. Decision to learn new habit
4. Discipline to practice
5. Determination to persist until habit is encoded
So, what are you doing physically that you should do more of?
What are you doing that you should do less of?
What are you doing that affects your health and should you stop doing it entirely?
“You can get control of your time and your life only by changing the way you think, work, and deal with the never- ending river of responsibilities that flow over you each day. You can get control of your tasks and activities only to the degree that you stop doing some things and start spending more time on the few activities that can really make a difference in your life.”
Book Review by Jennifer Spangenberg
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