Eating Frogs: The Secret to Success?

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
Pretty inspiring stuff, huh?
Here at beams, we haven’t taken Mark Twain’s advice literally (yet), but we do try to knock out our most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning. This simple technique for boosting productivity works for many people. In this guide, we’ll summarize the method and help you decide which task to tackle first.

Eat The Frog

Productivity consultant Brian Tracey coined the Eat The Frog method after Mark Twain’s famous piece of advice. The method couldn’t be simpler: identify one critical task for the day, ideally something you’re likely to procrastinate on, and knock it off your checklist first.

The benefits of eating the frog

It maximizes your mornings

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Eat The Frog helps you use your most productive morning hours for demanding tasks, leaving less important work for later in the day.
Modern science confirms what we already knew: some hours are better than others for getting work done. The first hour of the day, when our energy and motivation are high, is much more productive than the hour after lunch. Eat The Frog allows you to devote your best working hours to mentally taxing work, and leave less important tasks for later in the day.

It allows for deep work

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Eat The Frog promotes deep, undistracted work by prioritizing mentally intensive tasks and minimizing distractions.
In today's knowledge-driven economy, the most impactful tasks — coding, designing, and problem-solving — demand undivided attention. Unfortunately, the modern work environment is filled with distractions. The concept of deep work, introduced by computer science professor Cal Newport, emphasizes the importance of distraction-free work. Eat The Frog encourages us to eliminate distractions, allowing us to get deep work done.

It puts you in the driver seat

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Eat The Frog empowers you to tackle your most important tasks first, preventing external demands from dictating your workday.
A common habit is to start the workday by checking emails and incoming messages, which puts us in a reactive state. As soon as we begin responding, we surrender our time and attention to others' demands, leading to a day dictated by external priorities. Eat The Frog allows you to address your most important tasks before other requests can derail your focus, helping you achieve mindful productivity.

How to choose your frog

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Choosing the right task to tackle first requires understanding your work style and recognizing whether you're an active or passive procrastinator. Active procrastinators should start with a big task for a mental boost, while passive procrastinators should begin with a small, easily achievable task to build momentum.
Choosing the right task to complete first requires being realistic about your ability to complete it, and self-awareness about your work style. Research suggests there are two types of procrastinators: active and passive. Active procrastinators put tasks off because they know they’ll complete them later – they possess strong time management skills and work well under pressure. If that describes you, then you may benefit from choosing a big task to complete first thing in the morning. You’re likely to get it done, and the positive emotions associated with finishing it will give you a mental boost to start your day.
Passive procrastination, on the other hand, is driven by a feeling of paralysis in the face of a big task. If that’s your flavor of procrastination, then you’re better off choosing a modest, easily accomplishable task to check off your list. The last thing you want is to turn your frog into a tarantula! Keep it simple, check the box, and move on to the rest of your day with confidence.
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Start using beams today to conquer procrastination and boost your productivity.