[Book Review] Stop procrastinating and get more done in less time

Originally published in 2001, Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy still offers timeless principles that can help one overcome the temptation to procrastinate and instead achieve more in less time.

While the title may sound somewhat obscure, the idea of eating a frog comes from an old saying that if the first thing one has to do each day is eating a frog, a live one at that, then one can go throughout the day with the satisfaction that eating a frog is the probably the worst thing that would happen to one that day.

Frog here is a metaphor for the most important task of the day particularly the one we are most likely to put off till later and eventually never get to do.

One of the worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done. -@BrianTracy Click To Tweet

Throughout the book, the author discusses principles that help one lead a good life, build a successful career and feel good about oneself. The first key is learning to start and complete important tasks; i.e. developing a habit of task completion.

The book shows that success in life and career is determined to a large extent by clarity of purpose. To 'eat a frog', one must know that particular 'frog' one has to eat — and a very important part of that is having it written out. While lots of people want to have great lives only a few really plan about the kind of life they want to have.

Here is a great rule for success: Think on paper. HT @BrianTracy Click To Tweet

One must also learn to focus on activities, not necessarily accomplishments. Everything is not important and completion of many tasks particularly unimportant tasks is not half as important as completing one singular task that is all important. Here the Pareto principle comes into play. Most average people are busy doing a lot of unimportant things while they leave the very important thing undone. Time management is life management and that means investing the best of our time into the activities that promise the best return on time spent.

Resist the temptation to clear up small things first. HT @BrianTracy Click To Tweet

One of the questions that really held my attention is this, "What one skill if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my career?” Not only will this question help you to clarify purposes, it also helps you to focus on results and helps you to think long term. And it has been said that long term planning improves short term decision making. Asking this question regularly also helps you prepare thoroughly before setting out on performing an activity.

While most of the principles of "frog eating"(chuckles) are things we are familiar with, Brian Tracy challenges us to go beyond a mere knowledge of these principles and to put them into active use and practise them consistently. These skills are learnable and can be acquired through constant repetition.

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