Eat the Frog First
Eat the Frog First
Business is built one unpleasant bite at a time
Many years ago, I was having a very hard time focusing. I asked a person that I felt was a very productive how he did it. He told me he kept a “fake” green frog on his desk to remind him to always “eat the frog first” meaning to do the hardest tasks of the day as the top priorities.
As a born procrastinator who likes to push the harshest tasks to the back of the line, this was a huge moment for me. I was doing the opposite; I’d tackle all the easy things so it looked like I had a lot crossed off my list. But if the two things that would impact my business the most, and were the hardest to do, fell to the bottom of the list, most likely I never got to them.
It’s a cliché as old as the hills, but I really learned that the answer to building a great business, or life, is still, one bite at a time, even if it’s ugly!
So, here is how to eat the frog, one bite at a time.
- Plan the Work. Do you really know exactly what is the most important task to get done? Sometimes when tasks seem too large or daunting, it’s easy to shut-down and feel overwhelmed. Write it down. Put the most important, meaning the most impactful on the top. I swear by my workplans, they are hard to ignore.
- Work the Plan. When facing a large project, it’s easy to look at everything that has to happen and suddenly feel hopeless—how will it all get done? Instead, chip away at a larger goal by giving yourself small, more achievable goals that you know you can accomplish. I call these my bullets. Tiny bites count.
- Reward the Doer. Honestly, I have to fake myself into doing the hardest work first. So, I tend to set up mini rewards for myself from a coffee break, to a phone call to gossip to half day to go play tennis with friends; depends on how ugly the frog was!