Eat Your Frogs!

Mark Twain is credited with stating “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”. Yuck! Who wants to eat a frog unless it is frog legs which have been properly prepared? But first thing in the morning; I don’t think so!   After getting beyond the idea of eating frogs first thing in the morning, I realized this quote is actually Mark’s way of telling us how to get things done more efficiently. It is about tackling the unpleasant jobs first then the rest of your tasks will seem to be a breeze. If there are two jobs you really do not want to do, tackle the most unpleasant one first then the second most unpleasant job next. Thus in Mark Twain’s words eat the biggest frog first. 

This philosophy definitely makes sense to me. If we have jobs we truly do not want to do and therefore we keep avoiding them the stress of those jobs hanging over our heads will increase. This stress will make it more difficult to complete even what we might view as the easier and more pleasant jobs. Avoidance will not accomplish anything other than put off the inevitable while the dread of performing the unpleasant task increases as your day progresses.  Consequently, to get through your day the most efficiently with the least amount of stress tackle your most dreaded or unpleasant tasks first. Once those tasks have been completed, your dread of those tasks is eliminated so it will not slow you down and you will get more accomplished in the most efficient manner.

So follow Mark Twain’s advice and start your day by eating your frogs first thing in the morning starting with the largest one first!