“Eat a live frog every morning.” No, that’s not a Halloween-inspired dare, it’s actual advice from one of the world’s most famous writers.
American author and humorist Mark Twain once said:
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Today, the unusual statement has become something of a mantra for those looking to make their procrastinating ways a thing of the past. The idea is simple. Your “frogs” are the worst tasks on your to-do list. Perhaps it’s a preparing a presentation when you struggle with public speaking, or calling an important research subject when you dread talking on the phone. Whatever it may be, your “frogs” are the high-priority tasks you don’t want to do, but are too important to ignore.
You might be tempted to leave these “frogs” for later in the day, but eating them first thing in the morning might be one of the best things you can do to boost your productivity.
Your mind is clear
The morning is typically when your mind is most at ease. You’re rested, relaxed, and your phone hasn’t started buzzing with a bunch of notifications yet. That’s why it’s the perfect time to tackle the hard stuff on your to-do list. You will be able to really focus on the task at hand, without getting distracted by competing priorities.
It sets the tone for the rest of the day
Think about it: Eating your frogs means you will complete your most challenging tasks before some of your peers have even dragged themselves out of bed! That sense of accomplishment will propel you for the rest of the day, since everything else will seem easy in comparison.
You’ll be free to do the things you enjoy
Eating your frogs in the morning means you can go the rest of your day knowing that the worst is behind you. You get to reward yourself with the things you actually enjoy doing – how great is that?
So, how do you start eating frogs? First, prioritize your tasks by putting them into 4 categories:
A) Things you don’t want to do, that are very important
B) Things you don’t want to do, that are less important
C) Things you want to do, that are very important
D) Things you don’t want to do, that are less important
A tasks are your “frogs” and D tasks are your rewards. Do A tasks first, then go down the list so you get everything done and end your day on a high note!
Avoiding procrastination is all about forming good habits. Start every day by accomplishing your most difficult tasks and you’ll breeze through the rest of your responsibilities. What’re you waiting for? Go eat some frogs!