Here’s How Eat the Frog Can Boost Your Productivity in 2024!

July 11, 2024 17 Min Read

One of the ways to boost productivity is to Eat the Frog first. Nowadays, the biggest productivity challenge is procrastination. Putting off that task until the last minute can impact your productivity negatively, as it can result in missed deadlines, decreased output, and even harm to your reputation.

Eat the Frog is a technique that was Popularized by Brian Tracy. it guides you to handle the most demanding tasks first, relieving the guilt and stress that come with procrastination.

What Does Eat the Frog First Mean?

Eat the frog first is one of the most valuable time and task management methods to help improve your productivity. The technique helps you identify the most difficult and important tasks and do them first before doing small tasks. 

In his book called ‘Eat That Frog!’, Brian Tracy argues that eating the frog is the best way to start your day. He even lists the steps you need to follow to prep for this unusual meal.(1)

But let’s start from the beginning.

According to Tracy, a “frog” is the most important task that you have scheduled for the day that you’re dreading. By eating the frog first, the remainder of your day will be relatively smoother, knowing that you’ve already completed the toughest task.

The idea for Eat the Frog is best summarized by this quote from famous American writer, Mark Twain.

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Mark Twain

If you start your day with a task that you dread the most, then nothing worse can possibly faze you for the rest of your day. Similar to the Eisenhower Matrix, eating the frog means that you first have to identify and sort your daily tasks in order of importance. 

Eisenhower Matrix
Image from Medium, Hiba Rauf.

The difference between Brian Tracy’s Eat the Frog and the Eisenhower Matrix is that the Eisenhower method requires you to tackle important and urgent tasks first. However, the Eat the Frog method suggests that you start with the most important task that you dread the most. 

The key to succeeding with the Eat the Frog method is to keep on doing it until it becomes a daily habit for you.

To help you achieve this, make sure that you’re using a good to-do list app to help you organize your tasks.

How To Eat the Frog First?

Before you can start to eat your frog, you first need to identify your frogs by sorting your daily tasks by importance. Don’t rush the process; take it one step at a time.

Finding Your Frog

One of the most useful methods of finding your frog is by using the Eisenhower Matrix. Use our free Eisenhower Matrix template to help you get started with categorizing your daily tasks.

The Eisenhower Matrix sorts your tasks according to four different quadrants which are: Do First, Schedule, Delegate, and Eliminate. 

By using the same method used by Eisenhower, here’s how you can find your frog.

  1. Create a list of tasks
  2. Sort them in order of importance
  3. Spot your frogs (it’s okay to have a few)
  4. Tackle your frogs first!

Your frogs will be the most important daily task that you dread the most. Think of it as a high-impact, and high-effort task.

But when faced with many important tasks throughout the day, you can use other criteria to prioritize your frogs. 

You need to remember that frogs often require more time than other tasks. Frogs tend to be time-consuming, and the earlier you handle them, the more time you are left with to prioritize other minor tasks of the day. 

Frogs also come with some resistance. Eating your frog first is beneficial to your mental, physical, and professional health but can also be mind-boggling. 

Sometimes the resistance is not your fault. The task can be difficult to do, you may feel immense pressure to deliver the task, or the task is just not among your favorite deliverables. 

Whichever the challenge, the strategy is to eat the frog first and remove the burden first thing early in the morning. 

Eat Your Frog

It’s perfectly normal to procrastinate on the scary and big tasks, but coincidentally these tasks are usually those that have the most return. For example, as a writer, it’s much easier to reply to a simple email while procrastinating on writing your next article.

But truth be told, is your productivity pegged to the number of pointless emails you send out, or is it tied to the number of quality articles you write per month? As a general rule, it’s important to remember to not work on smaller tasks when there are still frogs out there to be eaten.

Wake up earlier in the morning than usual to complete your other tasks so that it can not create obstacles when you’re doing your most challenging task.

Always do your biggest tasks first, and don’t relate completing menial tasks with accomplishment. Believe it or not, it will help you to stop procrastination.

What if you have more than one frog? You possibly have trouble deciding which one to gulp down first. Well, in this case, you must start by eating the ugliest and biggest one first.

“The first rule of frog-eating is: “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.”

Brian Tracy

Because in your priority list, you may have multiple big frogs. So, just eat it. Try to follow this technique every single day. It will help you to move toward your ultimate goal.

Remember, frogs are the tasks that you dread the most, but also need to do. Delaying your frogs adds unnecessary stress to your day. By eating your frogs first, you’re left with simpler tasks for the rest of your day. 

It also helps if you practice setting SMART goals as it ensures that the tasks that you set for yourself are both achievable and realistic.

Why Does Eat the Frog Technique Work?

The Eat the Frog technique is a highly effective productivity technique that is built on the principle of tackling the most challenging task of the day first. This approach is one of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination and increase productivity as it encourages you to take action on the task that you are most likely to put off.

Some of the benefits of Eat the Frog include increased focus, improved task management ability, improved productivity, and reduced stress levels.

This technique is a powerful tool for anyone looking to increase their productivity and achieve their goals.

Let’s find out more about the benefits of Eat the Frog.

1. It Teaches You To Focus

If there’s one thing that “Eat the Frog does”, it’s that it teaches you how to focus.

Brian Tracy’s productivity method doesn’t demand you to check as many tasks as you can off your task list but rather develop a deep work strategy to work on one task at a time.

If you use this method correctly, you’ll find yourself always working on the most important tasks on your agenda. Creating a lifelong habit of eating the frog will set you up to become a productivity machine. 

2. It Forces You To Manage Your Tasks

Before you can eat the frog, you first need to separate your frogs from your tadpoles. In order to do this, you need to get into the habit of creating a daily list of tasks.

Managing your time with a to-do list ensures that you focus only on important tasks. This productivity method helps you pinpoint critical tasks and deprioritize the rest.

3. It Helps You Be More Productive

Your productivity level throughout the day is proportional to your energy levels. Think of it like a car full of gas, the further you travel, the lesser gas you’ll have in your tank. What this simply means is that you’re at your most productive level at the start of your day.

When you keep the most difficult tasks for later in the day, you have less energy to focus on them. Compare this to working on the toughest tasks at the start of the day when you feel the most energetic.

Using the Eat the Frog method will help you maximize your productivity and curb procrastination as it lets you work on the biggest, most difficult task while you’re still at peak productivity. It will also give you a powerful sense of accomplishment to keep you motivated for the rest of the day.

There’s only a limited number of hours every day, so it makes sense to prioritize and work on things that potentially can have the most impact. 

4. It Helps You Reach Flow State

A flow state is a state of mind when you focus on a single task and ignore everything else that doesn’t pertain to said task. Since Eat the Frog forces you to always work on the most important task on your task list, you’re more likely to reach a flow state when using this productivity technique.

The flow state boosts productivity and creativity by keeping you in a zone of extreme focus. By achieving a state of flow, you’ll be better able to clear your tasks and get things done.

5. It Helps You Reduce Stress

When it comes to reducing stress, the Eat the Frog productivity technique can be particularly beneficial. By getting the most difficult task out of the way first, you may feel a sense of relief and accomplishment that can help to alleviate stress and anxiety.

When we have a task that we are dreading or procrastinating on, it can weigh on our minds and cause stress. But once we complete it, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with it. This accomplishment can boost our confidence, motivation, and overall well-being.

Additionally, by tackling the most difficult task first thing in the morning, you are less likely to worry about it throughout the day. This reduces stress and anxiety.

Constant or prolonged stress is not good for your mental health and long-term productivity, Stress leads to burnout.  

Burnout reduces productivity and sense of accomplishment, affects your mood and well-being, and can mess with your finances and relationships altogether. When you eat your frog first thing in the morning, you increase the chances of mitigating all these.

What Are the Downsides to Eat the Frog?

Just like everything else, the Eat the Frog technique is not all that smooth sailing. Eating the frog first can spike your dopamine and improve your productivity, but the frog can stick in your throat sometimes and impact your productivity.  

Here are some of the few downsides of eating the frog first technique. 

A Difficult Start Can Ruin Your Day

Not all frogs are going to go down your throat easily. Some tasks are going to be stubborn, and take it from us, you will encounter them more often in your days. These tasks can ruin your mood, making the whole day unbearable and smaller tasks undoable.  

Eat the Frog First Can Turn You Into A Robot 

Eating the frog first requires you to handle important, bigger, and time-consuming tasks first thing in the morning. However, some smaller tasks such as picking up a call from a colleague tend to be urgent and need a quick address. 

Sticking to the Eat the Frog approach can make you miss deadlines for these smaller important tasks, and this can raise a whole lot of problems with colleagues, family, or bosses. 

Alternatives to Eat the Frog Technique

Even though Eat the Frog is a highly useful productivity technique when used correctly, it may not work for everyone.

Many other techniques can help you beat procrastination and up your productivity. For example, you can use the Pomodoro technique to divide your day into short but intensive bursts of work, each lasting no more than 15 minutes.

Watch this video to learn how it works:

Or, maybe you prefer the freedom that the flowtime technique offers. Regardless of which technique you prefer, the goal is to always find the one that helps you stay productive and focused throughout the day.

How to Eat the Frog in Taskade

Follow these simple steps to eat the frog with Taskade:

  1. Create a new project and list down all of your daily tasks
  2. Organize your tasks in order of importance by using #hashtags
  3. Add due dates to your tasks so that you know what’s urgent
  4. Use our built-in timer and Eat your Frog!

Excited to Eat the Frog?

Here’s the final step!

Sign up for a free Taskade account and supercharge your productivity today.

Frequently Asked Questions about Eat the Frog

Who first said, “Eat the Frog?”

The phrase is often attributed to Mark Twain.

Is “Eat the Frog” a Metaphor?

Yes, “eat the frog” is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task first.

What Is an Example of Eating a Frog?

An example is starting your day by working on a challenging project before handling easier tasks.

What Is the Quote in “Eat That Frog?”

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

What Is the First Rule of Eating the Frog?

The first rule of eating the frog is to eat the biggest and the ugliest frog first. 

How Do You Eat Your Biggest Ugliest Frog?

You break it down into specific step-by-step activities and then you start on the first one. 

How Do You Find the Ugliest Frog?

Create a list of tasks at hand, sort them in order of importance, find the most difficult, important, and time-consuming, and handle them first. 

What Is the Single Most Important Advantage of Eating the Frog First?

Getting the most difficult, time-consuming. and important task first reduces mental stress, leaving you set to handle other smaller tasks throughout the day. 

Does Eating the Frog Approach Have a Downside to It?

Yes. A difficult start can set a negative tone which can last throughout the day, especially if the frog gets stuck in your throat (undoable tasks). 

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