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What Is Eat the Frog? A Simple Method to Boost Productivity

9 Min Read

What Is Eat the Frog?

Eat the Frog is one of the most valuable time and task management methods to help improve your productivity. It is a productivity system that helps you identify your most important and difficult tasks and getting them done first.

In his book called ‘Eat That Frog!’, Brian Tracy posits that eating the frog is the best way to start your day. (1)

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

Essentially, 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 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.

How To Eat the Frog?

Before you can start to eat your frog, you first need to identify your frog by sorting your daily tasks in regard to their importance.

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. List out your daily tasks
  2. Sort them out 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.

Eat Your Frog

It’s perfectly normal to procrastinate on the big and scary 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 tadpole tasks when there are still frogs out there to be eaten.

Always do your biggest tasks first, and don’t relate completing menial tasks with accomplishment. 

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.

What Are the Benefits of Eat the Frog?

There are loads of techniques out there to help you achieve optimal productivity levels. For example, you could use the Pomodoro technique to help break up your day into short and productive sprints. 

Or, maybe you prefer the freedom that the flowtime technique offers. Regardless of your preference, Eat the Frog is a method that you should try at least once in your productivity rotation. This is because this method trains you to always work on the most important and difficult task first so that the rest of your day becomes a walk in the park.

It Teaches You To Focus

If there’s one thing that Eat the Frog does, it’s that it teaches you how to focus. This method doesn’t demand you to check as many tasks as you can off your to-do list, but rather it trains you to work on one important 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 into becoming a productivity machine.

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 first need to get into the habit of creating task lists to manage your day.

Managing your time with a to-do list ensures that you focus only on important tasks. This enables you to list out all of the tasks at hand and deprioritize meaningless tasks.

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.

If you were to keep the most difficult tasks for later in the day, you’ll have lesser 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 let you maximize your productivity as it lets you work on the most difficult task you have while you still have maximum brain power.

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.

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 that you have, 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.

How to Eat the Frog in Taskade

The best way to Eat the Frog is by using a solid outliner tool or a to-do list app to help you list down your tasks hierarchically. Don’t worry, we’re here to make it simple for you!

To Eat the Frog with Taskade, follow these simple steps:

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


🔗 Resources

  1. https://www.amazon.com/Eat-That-Frog-Great-Procrastinating/dp/162656941X
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