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]

Save Up to 93 Percent on 8 Gaming Accessories and Enter to Win a Free Nintendo Switch Bundle

Stackcommerce
Stackcommerce

The Nintendo Switch is one of the hottest video game consoles of the past few decades, with worldwide sales topping 55 million (that's more than the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, and it's only a few million behind the original NES). The problem with a console being so popular is that it's not always easy to spot one on store shelves. If you haven't had luck finding one in recent months, you can enter this contest to win your very own Nintendo Switch, along with a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a pair of Switch-compatible Logitech wireless headphones, and a $300 Nintendo gift card. Head here for more details.

While you wait to see who wins, check out these other great deals on gaming accessories.

1. Protective TPU Case for Nintendo Switch Console; $12 (20 percent off)

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Once you get your Switch, you'll want to keep it in pristine condition. This protective case is made with shock-absorbent, flexible TPU for full protection against bumps, scratches, dust, fingerprints, and even the occasional toss in the heat of the moment.

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The standard Switch will only charge one pair of Joy-Cons at a time, so if you've got a roommate always willing to hop in on a quick game of Mario Kart, you'll need this spare charging dock to make sure their controller is ready to go. The weighted base keeps the controllers stable so they’ll sit still to charge until you’re ready to play.

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3. Four-in-One Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Dock; $18 (28 percent off)

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Same as above, except this model charges two pairs of Joy-Cons at once. The easy-to-read red LED light lets you know it’s working, and the green lets you know it’s time to play.

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A Nintendo Gamecube controller is still the best way to play any of the Super Smash Bros. titles, and with this adapter, you can use the old-school controllers on the Wii U or Nintendo Switch for an easy way to dive into multiplayer games. It also works for PC gaming.

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7. Gforce 3 Professional 7200rpm USB 3.0/Esata External HDD (Black); $140 (11 percent off)

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If you haven’t already, you’re going to want to back up all of your files to an external hard drive. This external HDD has 3TB of storage, meaning you likely won't run out of space even if you tried.

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Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.



What the Color Codes on Toothpaste Tubes Really Mean

PeopleImages/iStock via Getty Images
PeopleImages/iStock via Getty Images

Packaging details—like the circles on chip bags and the symbols on cosmetics labels—can be mystifying to the average consumer. For years, a graphic has circulated the internet claiming to explain the hidden meaning behind the colored markings on the bottom of toothpaste tubes. While it's true that those color codes are there for a reason, the reason is much less interesting than the online rumors suggest.

According to Snopes, a widely-shared image on social media alleges that the colors on the seams of toothpaste tubes correlate to certain types of ingredients. The picture shows four different colored markings, with green meaning natural, blue indicating natural and medicine, red meaning natural and chemical composition, and black signifying pure chemical.

This "decoding" isn't based in truth, however. The markings on toothpaste packaging have nothing to do with the ingredients inside the tube—and even if they did, classifications like natural and chemical are too vague to mean anything. The real reason the colors are there is to aid the machinery responsible for putting the packaging together. The tiny colored rectangles are actually called eye marks or color marks, and they tell light beam sensors where a tube needs to be cut or folded. Once the toothpaste reaches the store, the markings no longer serve a purpose.

If you do want to know more about the ingredients in your toothpaste, it's not as hard as deciphering a mysterious code. "Oral care companies don’t mark their toothpastes with colored squares to try to trick consumers and hide ingredients from them," Colgate writes on its website. "If you want to know what kind of ingredients your toothpaste has, don’t look for a colored block at the end of the tube. Instead, take a look at the packaging for a comprehensive list of ingredients."

You can find the ingredients in your toothpaste listed on the outer box and/or the tube itself—and you don't need to know any secret codes to read them.

[h/t Snopes]