Eat a Frog

21 February 2016

Swallow a toad in the morning if you want to encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.

Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794)

The Eat a Frog technique is also called the Eat an Elephant Beetle. However, I have no idea what an elephant beetle looks like so I haven't drawn one for you. We don't have elephant beetles in our neck of the woods (or elephants for that matter). The closest thing is probably a cockroach and that proves why guessing appearances is such a dangerous game.

OK, so no elephant beetles but what on earth is hyperbolic discounting? Well, it is the term what scientists use to describe why it is a lot harder to resist something that will happen imminently rather than something that will not happen for a while. It's all explained in my hyperbolic discounting post.

Eat this frog

Out of all the anti-procrastination techniques, I think Eat the Frog is the one of the most powerful. It so called because it involves tackling a difficult and/or unpleasant task first thing in the day i.e. eating a frog is unpleasant and difficult. It takes advantage of the energy and focus you have in the morning before any distractions have taken a hold.

Preparation is key and you should decide the task to tackle the night before. This prevents you from deciding upon a lower priority task in the morning. Once the task is out of the way, you won't have the issue looming over you all day and everything else will be relatively easier.

This technique is particularly effective if you can split a large task into smaller ones. This ensures that progress can be made on tasks that are too big to complete in one go. Sometimes you just need that kick start to give you the momentum to follow through.

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