“You need to eat a frog every morning” was my main message earlier today while chatting with my client Mary. She was, not surprisingly, a bit confused by this suggestion. After her laughter subsided, I explained the context behind this life-changing principle. And then she became really keen on the idea.

Think of the frog as the most dreaded, but critical, task hanging over your head. You may feel guilty that you haven’t tackled it sooner. And you may be procrastinating on it. After all, it is easier to put off on eating a slimy, ugly frog.

“Eat that frog” suggests that we tackle our biggest, most important task firstbefore moving on to easier tasks. We need to dig in and work through our frog while our willpower and energy is high. [sws_picture_frame18 src=”http://clearconceptinc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Frog.jpg” title=”” alt=”Eat the Frog” align=”sws_frame_right” lightbox=”” album=”album” video=””] [/sws_picture_frame18]

Frogs have been used as an analogy for procrastination for years. Mark Twain once said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Success expert Brian Tracey wrote a book called “Eat That Frog” (2001) which is all about doing the important things first. CEO blogger Jim Estill recommends eating a frog first thing in the morning and right after lunch.

Frogs are slippery things. And it’s tempting to …

·         Put them off until the end of the day, or the next day, or the day after that

·         Tackle easier, lower priority work first

·         Continue to procrastinate while the dark cloud looms ominously over our head

It is easy to get caught up in minutiae, and never get around to eating our frogs. Just now I had to stop myself from checking one more email so I could focus on writing this blog post. But I’m glad I stuck to eating my frog. At the end of the day, I’ll be more appreciative of the big priorities that I was able to tackle.

Mary and I finished our meeting by agreeing that fairy tales sometimes do come true. And in this case, a frog can turn into a prince when we use this principle to accomplish our big goals.

What about you? Do you start your day by eating your biggest frog? Why or why not? Do you have any other strategies to share? I’d love to learn from you. Please share your comments below.