People in my Facebook Community will know I’m a big fan of Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog.
How To ‘Eat That Frog’ For Greater Productivity
Eat That Frog is a time-management idea that encourages you to:
- Identify the most important task you could be doing each day (your frog)
- Do this task first, before you do anything else
- Continue doing this task until it’s complete (eat your frog).
I love this idea and re-listen to the audiobook as a refresher pretty much every year.
How To ‘Do The Worst First’ For Greater Productivity
I also like a related idea, Do The Worst First, and find it a neat little productivity booster.
It applies when you have several to-do items to get done in a set amount of time – say before you go to lunch.
The idea is that instead of doing tasks in the order they appear on your list, or picking the easiest to do first, you choose the one you most want to put off and you do that first.
It boosts your productivity because:
- You feel relieved and have more energy for your tasks once the the worst is behind you.
- It prevents you from dragging out the easier tasks as a way to procrastinate and avoid the less-pleasant task.
You get things done faster and with more energy.
Do The Worst First At Work
Let’s say you have these tasks to handle before heading off for the day:
- Send out invoices
- Open and process the mail
- Call a customer back.
Whichever of these you feel most inclined to put off is the one you should do first.
I would call the customer first because I’m not a phone person (I’m lucky I write for a living!), then send out invoices, then process mail. What about you?
Do The Worst First At Home
Let’s say you have a bunch of things to do before going to the store:
- Clear the breakfast things and load the dishwasher
- Fold the laundry
- Make the bed.
The one that screams, ‘Do me later’ is the one you should do right now.
I would clear the breakfast stuff because it’s icky, then make the bed, then fold the laundry. You?
Do You Do The Worst First?
Do you Eat That Frog or Do The Worst First – at home or at work?
Do you have another strategy that works for you?
I’d love to know!
PS: Remember that you can also Use Procrastination to Get More Done.
[Image by Andrew Mason]
16 thoughts on “[Productivity Strategies] Eat That Frog; Do The Worst First”
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I love this, doing the hardest task first always serves me well! Another tip I’ve learned recently from Victoria Judge of The Expert Agency is to place dollar signs next to the action items on my list that will bring in money – that helps me focus and get the right stuff done first too!
what a great idea, will do that with my list for tomorrow.
That’s a great way to highlight which tasks are strategic versus busy work – thanks for sharing Amanda!
Brilliant tips! So easy to say, harder to do!!
True Naomi. But worth pushing yourself to try, at least at the start. Then I think it gets easier. 🙂
This strategy works!
What is also true is that this thing work on different levels, not just on business things (like you mentioned)
In fact, it is beneficial to try to form a habit out of this, so that you always try to figure out, how get the “froggy” stuff done before other things.
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@Kirsten: Thanks so much for your comment! I’m really happy you like the Facebook Page – do let me know if you have anything you’d like me to cover there – or here on the blog. And thank you for the mention on your blog. 🙂
I hope you continue to get the worst out of the way first – and reap the productivity benefits! M 🙂
I follow you on Facebook and get a lot from your tips and ideas. Thanks for this post! It is amazing how good you feel when one of the worst things is suddenly off your list. This is helping me already. : )
Linked to it on my blog today. http://www.celebrateeverydaywithme.com/2011/06/do-worst-task-first-productivity-tip.html
@Sue: Taking away 3 things form every conference you attend sounds like a fantastic idea – I love it! And happy frog-eating! 🙂
@Kasi: That’s true – I think the unique metaphor makes it easier to remember and therefore even more useful!
I attended a conference about a year or two ago that “Eating the Frog” was mentioned. I attend many conferences and workshops each year. I feel really good when I can take away 3 things from each to remember (harder than it sounds) and implement. Eating the Frog was one of those things. I don’t always remember all of the details correctly so my understanding was that Eating the Frog first IS doing the worst first! Now I see the ‘other’ side. Thank you! I’ll keep eating the frog first no matter if it is something important or something I don’t want to do.
I love this. Since I read your post, I have been reminding myself to eat that frog each time I find myself procrastinating. Saying that little phrase to myself has been surprisingly motivating.
@Kari: Applying it is the hard part! But we can do it. 🙂
Just finished listening to Eat That Frog. Great book, very practical. Now, I just have to apply it. Thanks for the reminder today.