“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
~ Mark Twain
I was reminded of the advice to ‘Eat the frog’ when my kids attended a party at Kids ‘n Clay Pottery Studio in Berkeley recently. The photo above is of an art piece on the wall at the entrance to the studio. There were many examples of creative artwork hanging there but this one caught my eye because I’ve heard the advice in various forms over the years. What I didn’t know, is that it originated with the great Mark Twain.
In my experience, this principle is effective. If you take on your biggest tasks – the ones that have your tummy in knots and your knees going all trembly – at the start of the day, things can only get better. That presentation you’re avoiding. The massive report with all the financials. The next chapter in your book. The pile of ironing (I hate ironing) in the closet.
If you clear the tough things off your task list, you start the day off in a shipping mood. Then you have time to accomplish all the other things without the stress and pressure of the large to-do items hovering over you like rain clouds. The enormous mental relief you gain from shifting the heavy weights is enough to have you breezing through the rest of your day. The sense of accomplishment always pushes you to ship even more.
In all honesty, I don’t follow this advice nearly enough. I procrastinate with the best of them. When I do apply the advice, though, and see the positive results, I’m left wondering why I don’t do it more often. Time to start eating more frogs!