“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.”
Mark Twain’s famous quote has been made even more famous by Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog.” Tracy’s book is about the concept of doing the biggest, hardest or most onerous important task on your list first thing each day. This way, you’re not procrastinating and worrying about getting it done.
The other concept of eating frogs is that if you have to eat a frog, it’s best not to stare at it for too long. You’ll have to do it anyway, so dive in and get it done!
I used this concept when visiting Oaxaca, Mexico this summer where the local delicacy is chapulines (roasted grasshoppers). I knew I wanted to at least try them, so the first meal there we ordered them as an appetizer and ate them. They weren’t as bad as I had imagined, but I also didn’t have to eat them again!
Set Up Your Next Day The Night Before
This has everything to do with setting yourself up for inevitable success. Find a way to be kind to the future you! Prepping lunch/dinner for the next day, filling your water bottle or setting out workout clothes can help you follow through on healthy habits.
Invest a few minutes in an evening routine to review your goals and map out 3-5 tasks for the following day. Ideally, there are no more than three tasks on your to-do list.
Determine which of these tasks is the most important—which one is going to have the greatest positive impact on your life or your business or both. This task is the first one to tackle to completion the next day.
You don’t push it off until the afternoon, or try to do the easiest or shortest or most unimportant tasks first. No, you’re eating the biggest, meanest, ugliest frog first and then the rest of your day will be a breeze.
The mental energy that you use trying to procrastinate the completion of that one hardest task will far outweigh the energy you would use if you just jumped in and worked on it to completion first thing when your work day begins.
Once that first most difficult task is completed, you then tackle the next one on your list and then the third one and so on. If you don’t complete all tasks, whatever remains goes on your list for the next day.
If you have a fitness goal, I highly recommend exercising first thing in the morning so you don’t have to fight excuses later. I also recommend starting with cleaning up your breakfast meal first. If you start the day healthy, it gives you momentum for the rest of the day. Meal prep earlier helps stick to healthy eating later as well.
Decision fatigue hits later in the day after you’ve made a lot of decisions. You want the hard tasks done before this hits! Good self-care and a relaxing evening routine are the perfect way to end the day since you ate your frogs earlier!
Don’t Be A Multi-Tasker
Focus on one task at a time to completion. Multi-tasking has been proven to be detrimental to productivity and the act of switching between tasks causes significant loss of time and focus. The best way to get things done is to make sure you’re chunking down into action steps that are workable, focus on one at a time and work to completion.
Set yourself up for inevitable success by deciding what 3-5 tasks you’ll complete the next day, do the biggest or hardest task first, and work on it to completion before tackling the next one. When you take the time to organize how you’ll work to reach your goal in this way, your inevitable success is within your sights.
Focusing on small habits and consistency is the way I coach midlife women like you to revive your health in my Midlife Health Revival Program! No extreme dieting or lifestyle changes that don’t last. You can grab my free Habit Cheat Sheet here to get my process.