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

11 Min Read

What Does “Eat the Frog” Mean?

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 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?

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.

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.

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 it trains you 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 into becoming 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 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, you may be less likely to worry about it throughout the day, which reduces stress and anxiety.

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.

There are many other techniques that 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 mayprefer, 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.


🔗 Resources

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