“Eat that frog: 21 great ways to stop procrastination and get more done” is a great compilation of all the productivity tips and tricks. It is a small book of about 200 pages, but it successfully describes the key idea of how you can be much more productive than you already are. Brian Tracy, the author, has not filled this book with scientific research rather provided some useful insights through personal experience. If you are into productivity books, you are at the right place because we will go through the “Eat that frog“ review & its ten takeaways that will make you 2x productive.
Brian Tracy is a Canadian-American motivational speaker. He has written about 70+ self-help books. One of them is Eat that frog which we are going to review at the moment. He is also the chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, specializing in the training and development of individuals and companies.
Now that we know about the author, here are the 8 Takeaways from the book ” Eat that frog “
1.Eat that frog
The whole book centers around this idea of eating the frog. But what does that really mean? Why would you eat a frog? This is metaphorical. The idea of eating frogs states that you must do the hardest and complicated task in your day-to-day life. If you have five things on your to-do list, not all activities will have the same influence on your life. One or two activities, usually the most difficult ones, will play much more vital roles than others. So if you are only focusing on those one or two activities (in this case referred to as frogs ), you are naturally going to be more productive and get more done.
Let me give you an example. Suppose the following is your to-do list.
- Write a blog
- Study for the finals
- Visit your friend’s house
- Fix your laptop
- Post stories on Instagram
Now, if you look at this to-do list, you have five activities. Which one is the most important and has a direct influence on your life? Of course, studying for the finals. But we usually keep that one (the frog) for the latter and do other activities like “fixing your laptop” or “visiting your friends,” which may be important but does not influence our lives like that of the “frog.”
Key idea: Do the most difficult task first. If you have two important tasks, do the uglier one first.
2.Use the ABCDE method in the to-do list
We all make to-do lists for getting things done. But how often do we prioritize them? We don’t, mostly. In this book, Brian Tracy shows us a unique way of prioritizing your to-do list.
Whenever you make a to-do list prioritize each task with ABCDE; remember there will never be enough time to do everything you want to do. So it would help if you had a clear idea about what to do and what to do first.
- A = The ugliest and most influential frogs that you must do for progress in life.
- B = They can be done after finishing the “A” tasks. They may be important for progress.
- C= These are daily chores that have to be done but do not influence your life toward progress.
- D= They are not important but can be done for personal satisfaction
- E= Extra work that you can do if there is plenty of time.
So you should prioritize all of your tasks according to these letters. Let us return to the previous example and see what it should look like.
- Study for the finals (A)
- Write a blog (B)
- Fix your laptop (C)
- Visit your friend (D)
- Post a story on Instagram (E)
This is how your to-do list should look like. It would be best if you also tried to arrange your schedule in this order and eat the ugliest frog first thing in the morning.
Key idea: Prioritize your tasks and take action accordingly
3.Use the 80/20 rule in every aspect of your life
In this book, the author highly suggests using the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, in all corners of life. Ever heard of the Pareto principle? The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the outcomes in life comes from 20% of the efforts and vice versa. This means you don’t have to focus on everything in your life; you need to focus on 20% of the most important things, which will give 80% of the results.
You can use this in any aspect of your life. One of the key distractions in our lives is the small tasks that don’t bring any value or bring little value to our lives. We must think of eliminating these 80% and focus on the 20% that matters. For example, You can score 80% marks in an exam by studying only 20%. But we tend to overlook that and focus on studying everything that is in the lectures or textbooks. In the end, we miss the vital things that can make a difference in our exams. This is true for our lives as well.
Key idea: Focus on the 20% most important tasks and eliminate the rest 80%
4.Plan every day in advance
This is something that is very obvious and might even seem insignificant, but it can make a whole lot of difference in your life. We start planning a task when we initiate the task. Then we notice how difficult or complex a task is and start to procrastinate on it. But if you plan every day, you are far more likely to complete a task and prevent procrastination.
The reason this works is that you can prepare your brain for whatever difficulty it faces. Also, when you have planned the task well. You have already completed the initial steps; now, you only need to execute what you planned. Planning every day or even every week reduces the friction between you and the task.
Key Idea: Plan your weeks, days beforehand
This is one of the completely new ideas, and I found it really interesting. The author states that Procrastination is human nature, and we will do it anyway no matter how hard we try. So we don’t need to fight procrastination but rather be friends with it. How do you become friends with procrastination?
It is pretty simple. You make friends with procrastination by providing tasks to procrastinate. Sounds counter-intuitive? Could you stick with me here? As I already said, you will procrastinate anyway, so prepare some tasks in your daily schedule to procrastinate. These tasks can be in your C, D, E category that will not affect the progress of your life. Prevent procrastination on the ugly frogs(essential tasks ) and start procrastinating on the smaller unimportant tasks. Use procrastination to your advantage.
Key Idea: Find unimportant tasks to procrastinate on.
6.Slice and Dice the task
Many times we procrastinate on things because they become too overwhelming for us. When you see a large assignment, you feel exhausted just seeing its enormous size. The best way to complete such a large and complicated task is to slice it into doable versions. Make sure the segments are not too short because having too short segments may lead to procrastination too. Our brain likes to do things that are not so easy and not so hard either.
Breaking a task into several segments may seem unproductive because you are doing less than you intended But remember it is still progress. Doing something is better than nothing. Also, working too much may result in burnout.
Key Idea: Break your tasks into small fragments
7.Create a sense of urgency
No matter what task you do, don’t be too comfortable doing it. Nothing good ever occurs in the comfort zone. If you want to get more done in less time, you need to create urgency within yourself. The best way to do this is to create imaginary deadlines in your head. You might have a task that should be done within seven days, create a deadline of 4 days in your head and work accordingly. This will create a sense of urgency and force you to take necessary action.
This is backed by a law known as the “Parkinsons law,” which states that “work expands to the time allowed to it.” This statement means if your task/work will expand until you allow it to happen. For example, if you were given homework and the deadline was seven days from now, you will likely complete the homework on the 6th day. Whereas if your deadline were three days, you would still finish it in 3 days.
This is creating urgency in any task is crucial for being productive and productivity.
Key idea: Create imaginary deadlines
8.The 90/10 rule
This is another rule which depicts the necessity of focusing on the goals. Before knowing how to use it, question yourself,
“What is the one task if I did it correctly and regularly would impact my life towards my goals and dreams?”
Do you have the answer to this question? If you do, good and if you don’t find the answer to this question. Now, remember this task is the key to all your dreams. You must focus on this task 90% of the time. This is your ugliest frog, the “A” task in your everyday to-do list that can make a huge difference in your life. You have to give 90% of focus, effort and hard work behind this task and the rest 10% to the other activities of your life.
Normal people focus on every task equally and are numb to notice their “key task ” (The ugly frog ). But The one habit that makes great people great is that they focus on what matters. To become great, to become productive, one must focus on the ugliest frog and give their all.
Keynote: Put full effort into one important task
These were the eight key takeaways from the Eat that frog book review. Following these eight simple rules in your life can direct your life in the right direction.
The Good | Eat that Frog review
The following makes this book interesting and exceptional.
- Written with really easy words. People of all ages can learn and utilize these hacks in their lives
- Quick read
- Compilation of all productivity hacks in the world
- Beginners in time management and productivity can get a good amount of ideas to pursue
The Bad | Eat that frog review
These are things that I found was a bit odd that you might also feel
- Use of statistics was done without any source
- Among the 21 principles, some were repetitive and didn’t add any extra value to the book
Top 10 quotes from the book | Eat that frog review
- There will always be more to do no matter how productive you are
- Before you begin scrambling up the ladder of success, make sure that it is leaning against the right building
- Action without planning is the cause of Failure
- Time management is really life management
- Failures do what is tension relieving, and winners do what is goal achieving
- There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always time to do the most important thing
- The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least
- If you are not getting better, you are getting worse
- The last great freedom of mankind is the freedom to choose your attitude under any set of external conditions.
- It is the quality of time at work that counts and the quantity of time at home that matters.
“Eat that frog : 21 great ways to stop procrastination and get more done” is great time management and productivity book. There is no single doubt about that. This book can introduce you to techniques that can change the way you live, learn and earn. You will be more motivated to take action and less motivated to procrastinate. If you are a young reader or new to procrastination/time-management books, you should give this book a try.
Hope this review has helped you in some ways. You can buy the book from here.