The key to success is not to try to do everything but to focus fully on the most vital tasks, take action, and complete them well. The analogy of eating frogs comes from Mark Twain, who says that if you can start your morning by eating a live frog, you’d have tackled the worst thing that can happen that day. Your frog is your most crucial task—what you’re most likely to defer, yet can create the biggest impact on your outcomes.
This practical action guide is built on 30 years of time-management study–it’s for anyone who feels overwhelmed or wants to be more effective in planning, prioritizing, and achieving more results in less time. In this summary, we’ll highlight the 21 points, and zoom in on a few of them in detail.
5 Lesson You Can Learn From Eat The Frog
1. Every successful goal starts with a good plan.
Before you take any action, you have to define your goals. Clarity is an essential part of productivity: you can’t work unless you know what you have to do. So figure out what tasks matter the most – the first step in overcoming procrastination.
It’s a good idea to write your goals down instead of trying to sort them out in your head. Here’s an important fact to remember: only three percent of adults manage their time with written goals, and they accomplish five to ten times as much as other people. Even highly educated individuals are less productive than those who write down their goals.
After you’ve outlined your goals, plan your time. Break your goals down into a series of steps you can deal with one after another. And use checklists. They help you visualize your goals. When you look back on the tasks you’ve completed, you’ll feel proud. You’ll also be more motivated to keep going!
Finally, work even more efficiently by using the 80/20 rule, also called the Pareto Principle. The 80/20 rule says that every list of ten tasks should include two that are much more important than the others. Focus on those two.
2. The path to progress is all about self-exploration.
Being productive isn’t just about good planning. It’s a constant learning process – you have to keep adapting yourself as you learn the most effective ways to execute your plans.