Do you know the story behind the maxims:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day,” and
“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.”?
These words have been credited to Mark Twain over the years. It does sound like something he’d say. In actuality, the original quote goes back to Nicolas Chamfort, who lived in the 1700s.
Provenance aside, the theory is that if you have difficult tasks, it is best to get them over with.
And, if you have more than one difficult task, tackle the biggest one.
In other words, don’t eat dessert first.
Picking your frog
When you list all the projects you have on your daily task list, is it easy for you to pick out the big frog?
It is not always easy. Frogs are jumpers. All those possibilities jump up front of you and can leave you confused as to where to start.
More than one thing always seems to be important, and it’s easy to flit from one to the other. That does not count the unimportant ones that seem to be more important than they really are.
For example this week I’m updating our lead magnet, and I’m also working on a website update to encompass our new health focus for creatives. Both are important.
It is easy to get the idea that you should tackle the item you most dread. But how do you know it is the right frog?
Add in that it is so much easier to look for the easy-to-get-done project and check it off the list. Cue procrastination.
So how do you winnow down the list to the “frog” you should be tackling?
Start with clarity
What does success in your business looks like?
It’s easy to buy into what someone else says success looks like for you if you don’t take time to consider what you want..
The more clear you are on what success looks like for you and where you are headed in your business, the easier it is to identify your frog.
You may actually eat that frog without clarity, only you won’t have that same feeling of accomplishment than you would if it’s your goals in front of you. Take time to figure it out.
Questions to ask
When you know where you are headed, you can ask yourself a variety of questions to narrow down your choice.
- What will have the biggest impact on your business?
- Which will add the most value to your business?
- What will bring in the most cash in the least amount of time?
Not all the answers are financially focused at the beginning. Of course, what you decide to do will end the end impact your finances. Depending on your answer and the state of your business, ask yourself which frog to eat first.
Now you know where to start.
Schedule or block the time so you can really get this “frog” handled. It’s even better to review your frogs the night before and schedule them then.
Once you get rid of a frog, try to remember the feeling before you move onto another task. Personal positive reinforcement is key.
If you do this on a consistent basis, you won’t be putting out fires as your first frog.
It’s your turn!
This week try tackling your frog first and let me know how it goes. What is your frog? What do you not like doing or have been putting off? What are your tips for eating the frog?