Looking to Manage Your Time Better? Try the 'Eat That Frog' Technique

iStock.com/SerrNovik / iStock.com/SerrNovik

If you are anything like most people, you probably procrastinate from time to time—perhaps more than you’d like. Rather than tackling problems head-on, it’s tempting to put off that tough assignment until the day before it's due or justify mindless social media scrolling by telling ourselves that the dirty dishes in the sink aren’t going anywhere, anyway. However, as seasoned procrastinators know, this only provides temporary relief, and might actually make our lives more difficult in the long run.

If you want to break your bad habit once and for all, there’s hope. Writer Laura Binder recently shared a productivity technique called “eat that frog” on the Monday.com blog. The idea comes from a Mark Twain quote—“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”—and it’s the brainchild of self-help author Brian Tracy.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do the most dreaded item on your to-do list first thing in the morning. While this might be the case, your “frog” is the biggest and most important task you need to complete. As Tracy writes in his book Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, it’s also the task that “can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.”

Here are the seven steps you'll need to follow:

1. Figure out your top goal that you want to achieve most.
2. Write the goal down.
3. Set a deadline.
4. List all the steps you need to follow in order to accomplish that goal.
5. Rank those steps by order of priority.
6. Get to work! It’s time to put your plan into action.
7. Do something every day that will bring you closer to achieving your goals.

This process should ideally be done in the morning to set the pace for the rest of the day. However, this list-laden technique might not be right for everyone. (Binder writes that she was one of them, and she lost interest after two days.) Everyone works differently, so if the frog method is a flop, move on to the next one. You may want to try out the Pomodoro Technique instead, which involves working for 25 minutes straight, then taking a five-minute break and repeating that cycle four times. 

[h/t Monday.com]