Mark Twain once said, “if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long”.
Thank goodness, he was speaking metaphorically! Your ‘frog’ refers to either the biggest, most important, most difficult and/or most disliked task facing you. It’s that one thing you have on your ‘to-do’ list that you have absolutely no motivation to do. The one thing you will procrastinate about and therefore put off doing. The one that makes you feel quite (really) stressed. The more you procrastinate and leave the task undone, the more overwhelmed and stressed you are likely to feel about it – it’s a classic vicious cycle!
‘Eating the frog’ means to ‘just do it’. If you don’t, the ‘frog’ will eat you - making you stressed!
So, if it’s your job to ‘eat a frog’, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning to help gain a sense of momentum and accomplishment which, in turn, can help to reduce stress feelings thus making way for a calmer, more relaxed day.
…. And if you have ‘two frogs’ - eat the biggest and ugliest one first!
Taking control in this way, and disciplining yourself to ‘eat the frog’ before you do anything else can help you reach higher levels of performance and productivity which can increase a sense of success, self-fulfilment and triumph – a great recipe to help reduce stress.
So, act now! Don’t procrastinate! Reduce that stress!
Everyday work out what your ‘frog’ is, and once you have chosen your ‘frog’ make a habit of waking up every morning and ensuring you do that task first.
If self-care methods don’t seem to be helping reduce or alleviate the feelings of stress you are experiencing, you may wish to visit your GP and/or seek support from a trained Counsellor.
To find a qualified counsellor, visit the National Counselling Society’s ‘Find a Counsellor’ webpage at: https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/find-counsellor/.
Please note: No real frogs have been hurt (or eaten) during the creation of this Blog!
References & further reading:
Tracy, B (2017): ‘Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less’; Oakland, CA; Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.