He is also reported to have said (more about that later), “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.”
Not too long ago, management expert and entrepreneur Brian Tracy built a small empire around that principle. Brian Tracy International now offers, among other things, training in personal development, sales, time management, and leadership.
But Tracy is probably best known for his internationally popular book, Eat That Frog! in which he writes that there are "21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time".
The book was first published in January 2007, and “Eat that frog!” has since become a buzz phrase, so much so that it even finds mention in Everything You Wanted To Know about Freelance Journalism (But Didn't Know Whom To Ask), brought out earlier this year by two resolute Indian journalists.
So what does “Eat that frog!” actually mean? Here is the explanation in Brian Tracy's own words:
Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.
Read the rest of Tracy's post here: "The Truth About Frogs". And the next time you find yourself bogged down when faced with a list of jobs to tackle, remember: “Eat that frog!”
- ADDITIONAL READING: On the Fast Company website, Work Smart: Do Your Worst Task First (Or, Eat a Live Frog Every Morning).
- ALSO READ: Not everyone is enamoured of this eat-that-frog business. On Huffington Post, Valerie Alexander, author of Happiness as a Second Language, argues that starting your day doing something wretched may just set the tone for a miserable day. Read her post here: "Stop Eating Frogs! Just Be Happy".
- As for whether Mark Twain actually said that stuff about eating frogs, Valerie Alexander tells us in her intro that the phrase was actually coined by Nicolas Chamfort and "only linked to Mark Twain long after reports of Twain's death were no longer an exaggeration".
- Photograph courtesy: Brian Tracy International
- AND, IN THE SPIRIT OF "EAT THAT FROG!", I GIVE YOU... "SUCK IT UP!"