Eat the frog

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


Twain has the right idea, and many successful entrepreneurs and business owners have adapted this concept into a philosophy that keeps them on track and focused. Personally, I have lived by this philosophy for several years and it has never failed me.

So how does it work?

Step 1: Create a list of to-dos. I’m a major list creator, so much so that I sometimes have lists of what lists I have. Each morning, as I set out to start my work day, I create an all-encompassing list of things to do. This list is primarily focused on the goals for that day, but often include larger projects that I can complete in stages. The key is to make your list as comprehensive as possible first.

Step 2: Prioritize your list. Once your list has been created, you want to take a few moments and prioritize it. I generally categorize my list into things I can complete today, those that are deadline focused ,those that are in stages and those that aren’t deadline focused but would be great to accomplish as soon as possible. Once you have a priority in mind, you know where you need to spend your time.

Step 3: Read your list. Read it, and as you do so, mark the items that make you groan vs the items that are relatively simple to complete and don’t bother you much.

Step 4: Biggest Groan = Frog. That one item on your list that you simply do not want to do. Perhaps when you were reading your list you were trying to imagine ways to procrastinate it. You will know what that one thing on your list is. For me, it’s often something to do with cash flow- I just simply hate reviewing accounting and financials- I’d much rather be spending my time on fun marketing projects, and writing.

Step 5: Eat the Frog. As Twain said, the key to having a positive day is to eat a frog first. That biggest groan on your list- do it first. Get it out of the way and the rest of your list will be no big deal.

It works. I do it every day and it keeps me on task, plus the feeling when you accomplish that thing you were dreading is a natural high that keeps you going all day. Mark Twain knew what he was talking about.