If Wheaties is the breakfast choice of champions, then frogs are the secret to the success of business men and women. Packed with protein and Omega-3s, they sure pack the nutritional punch that busy entrepreneurs need to get in a full day’s worth of work. Now, before you close out your browser in disgust, let me clarify with this quote by Mark Twain, “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.” So, what I’m talking about it getting those less-than-desirable tasks out of the way, not the consumption of frogs—though I hear they’re pretty tasty.
Start your day off with the task that you dread the most, and then everything else that remains on your to-do list will be a piece of cake. As a small business owner, you have a never-ending to-do list. Maybe you like to tackle some of the easy items to rack up a few quick wins. While that’s a great strategy, you may have noticed things like “find freelance writers for hire to create website content” or “follow up on leads” never get done, no matter how many times you add it to your list. But if you make these tasks your frogs, and do nothing else until they’re done, you’ll likely get them done.
If you were served a meal of deep-fried frog legs, broccoli and tiramisu , you’d opt to eat the less appetizing item first and save the best for last. In his book, Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy wisely suggests that people apply this principle to tasks which they dread. If you hate contacting your prospects, but enjoy answering client emails, you should consider starting your day out by doing the former. Make it a daily habit to contact three people, and once that’s accomplished you can go on to answering those emails guilt-free. You’ll have a huge sense of accomplishment and you won’t waste precious time deciding how you can best procrastinate to avoid the task for yet another day.
Tips for Eating Frogs
To help you become more productive, here are some tips for getting in your recommended daily allowance of “frogs”:
- Create a daily to-do list. Take the last ten minutes of your workday to create an action plan for the following day.
- Prioritize the list. Give each item a number, putting a big #1 beside your frog.
- Get to work. Dig in and get right to work on eating the frog. If you need extra motivation, give yourself a time limit and see if you can beat the clock.
- Reward yourself. Now that you’ve had a healthy serving of frog, you can move on to something tastier, like answering emails or working on a new project.
For the next week, try switching to frogs to get your day started off on the right track and see if it doesn’t help you pack a little more into the next 168 hours.
Charlotte E is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.