“Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy

Post Info

I sometimes struggle to get things done on time. It’s not that I procrastinate on them, it’s that I have at least 10-20 things to accomplish in a day, both personal and professional-related tasks.

The thought of unchecked items on my to-do-list and piles and piles of unfinished projects that I need to do gives me so much anxiety.  I would feel so awful and disappointed with myself if there were uncomplete tasks that remained on my to-do list longer than I would have liked.

Especially for someone with a type-A personality, I often feel guilty and frustrated at the end of the day for not getting as much done as I had hoped.

So, this book couldn’t have come at a right time in my life right now.

The “Eat That Frog” method is about disciplining yourself to do the most challenging and important task first thing in the morning that can have the greatest positive impact on your life. The idea is that if you can get the “worst thing” on your to-do-lists out of the way first, then the rest of the day will flow gently.

It’s an easy read with lots of practical time management tips for the busy practitioner and novice in this area. It is however, a “shallow” read, bereft of theory and good insights as to why we procrastinate. But this is exactly what the author points out at the very beginning of the book – a somewhat of a ‘smorgasbord’ of time management advice.

Here is some of the key takeaways + actionable tips I got from the book:

1. Set the table

Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals, objectives, and what order of priority before you begin. One of the very worst uses of time is to do low value tasks very well that need not be done at all.

2. Plan every day in advance

Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save you 5 or 10 minutes in execution. Have everything you need at hand before you start. Assemble all the papers, information, work materials, and resources you might require so that you can get started and keep going.

3. Apply the Law of Three

Identify the 3 things you do in your work that account for 90% of your contribution and focus on getting them done before anything else. You will then have more time for your family and personal life.

4. Identify your key constraints

Determine the bottlenecks or choke points, internal, or external that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals and focus on alleviating them.

5. Create large chunks of time

Organise your day around large blocks of time so you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks. Things always take longer than expected.

6. Consider the consequences

Before doing anything, ask yourself:

What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?

Analyse your choices and behaviours in the present to make sure that what you are doing today is consistent with the long-term future that you desire.

7. The Law of Forced Efficiency

There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing. Sometimes, the time required to complete an important job is often the same as the time required to do an unimportant job.

8. Don’t expect perfection the first time or even the first few times

Get it 80% right and then correct it later.

Be prepared to fail over and over before you get it right.

9. Take it one oil barrel at a time

You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time. Break large, complex tasks down into bite-sized pieces, and then do just one small part of the tasks to get started. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

10. Put the pressure on yourself

Push yourself to do your best. No one is coming to your rescue. People aren’t waiting for a bus on a street where no buses pass. Imagine you have to leave town for a month, and you had to get your major task completed before you left.

This site uses cookies to offer you a
better browsing experience.