Eat that Frog!

21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time


by Brian Tracy


Be Selective


      - If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.

      - If you have to eat a live frog, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.


Take action immediately


Develop the Habits of Success (starting and finishing important jobs)


      - Completing an important task triggers the release of endorphins, and makes you feel happier, positive and more confident.


Practice is the Key to Mastering Any Skill


      - With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit.


The Three Ds of New Habit Formation


-         Decision to develop the task of habit completion

-         Discipline to practice the principles in this book over and over

-         Determination to do it until the habit is locked in and becomes a permanent part of your personality.


Visualize Yourself as You Want to Be


1. Set the Table (think on paper – written goals are powerful)


      - Decide exactly what you want.

      - Write it down

      - Set a deadline on your goal; set subdeadlines if necessary

      - Make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to

         achieve your goal

- Organize the list into a plan

- Take action on your plan immediately.

- Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal.


·        Make a list of 10 goals you want to accomplish in the next year.


·        Review your list of 10 goals and select the one goal that if you achieve it, would have the greatest positive impact on your life.  Whatever the goal is write it on a separate sheet of paper, set a deadline, make a plan, take action, and do something every single day that moves you toward that goal.


2. Plan Every Day in Advance


  • Begin today to plan every day, week, month in advance.  Make a list of everything you have to do in the next 24 hours. Add to list as new items come up. Make a list of all your projects, and big multitask jobs thar are important to your future.


  • Lay out each of your major goals, tasks, projects, by priority and by sequence.


  • Think on paper. Always work from a list. It makes it easier to eat the frog.


3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything


  • Make a list of all the key goals, activities, projects and responsibilities in your life today.  Which of them are in the top 10 or 20 percent of tasks that represent 80 or 90% of your results.


  • Resolve today to spend more of your time working on those areas that really make a difference in you life and career and less on lower value activities.


4. Consider the Consequences


  • Review your lists of tasks, activities, and projects regularly, asking “Which one project or activity, if I did it in an excellent and timely fashion, would have the greatest positive consequences in my work or personal life.


  • Determine the most important thing you could be doing every hour of every day, and then discipline yourself to work continually on it.  Whatever it is that can help you the most, set it as a goal, make a plan to achieve it, and go to work on your plan immediately.


5. Practice Creative Procrastination


·        You can control your time and your life only if you discontinue lower-value activities. If it is not something you would start again today, knowing what you know now, abandon it or put it off.


·        Select at least one activity to abandon immediately, or at least deliberately put off until your more important goals have been achieved.


6. Use the ABCDE Method Continually


      Think on paper - start with a list of everything you have to do for the coming day


      A - 1,2,3 something very important, you must do

      B - should do

      C - nice to doD-tasks you can delegate

      E-tasks you can eliminate (something you do out of habit or something you enjoy)

      but every minute you spend on it is a minute not spent on a task or activity that can make a real difference


  • Review your work list right now and put an A, B, C, D, or E next to each task or activity.  Select your A-1 job or project and begin on it immediately. Discipline yourself to do nothing else until this one job is complete.


  • Practice the ABCDE Method every day for the next month on every work or project list before you begin work.  After a month, you will have developed the habit of setting and working on your highest priority tasks, and your future will be assured.


7. Focus on Key Result Areas


  • One of the major reasons for procrastination in the workplace is that people avoid activities where they performed poorly in the past. Conversely, the better you become in an area, the less you procrastinate.


  • Identify the key result areas of your work. Write down the key results you have to get to do your job in an excellent fashion.  Giver yourself a grade from one to ten on each one.  And then determine the one key skill that, if you did it in an excellent manner, would help you the most in your work.


  • Take the list to your boss and discuss it with him or her.  Discuss your results with your coworkers and your spouse.


  • Make a habit of doing this analysis regularly for the rest of your career.  Never stop improving.  This decision alone can change your life.


8. Apply the Law of Three


  • Determine the three most important tasks that you do in your work.  “which tasks would contribute the greateset value to my career?” Once you have identified your “big three,” concentrate on them single-mindedly all day long.


  • Identify your three most important goals in each area of your life. Organize them by priority. Make plans for their accomplishment, and work on your plans every single day. You will be amazed at what you achieve in the months and years ahead.




9. Prepare Thoroughly before you Begin


  • Take a look at your desk or office.  Ask yourself “What kind of a person works in an environment like that?”  The cleaner and neater your environment, the more positive, productive you will feel.


  • Resolve today to clean up your desk and office completely.


10. Take it One Oil Barrel at a Time


  • Select any goal, task, or project on which you have been procrastinating and make a list of all the steps you will need to take to complete the task.


  • Then take just one step immediately. And then do one more, and so on.



11. Upgrade Your Key Skills


  • Become a lifelong student of your craft. School is never out for the professional.


  • Identify key skills that can help you the most to achieve better and faster results.  Determine the core competencies that you will need to have in the future to lead your field.  Whatever they are, set a goal, make plan, and begin developing  and increasing your ability in those areas.  Decide to be the very best at what you do!


12. Leverage Your Special Talents


  • Continually ask yourself these key questions: “What am I really good at? What do I enjoy the most about my work?  What has been responsible for my success in the past?  If I could do any job at all, what job would it be?”


  • Develop a personal plan to prepare yourself to do your most important task in an excellent fashion.  Focus on those areas where you have special talents and that you most enjoy.  This is the key to unlocking your personal potential.


13. Identify Your Key Constraints


  • Identify your most important goal in life today.  What is it?  What one goal, if you achieved it, would have the greatest positive effect on your life?  What one career accomplishment would have the greatest impact on your work life?


  • Determine the one constraint, internal or external, that sets the speed at which you accomplish this goal. “Why haven’t I reached it already?  What is it in me that is holding me back?”  Whatever your answers, take action immediately.  Do something.  Do anything, but get started.


14. Put the Pressure on Yourself


  • Set deadlines and subdeadlines on every task and activity.  Create your own “forcing system.” Once you’ve set a deadline, stick to it and try to beat it.


  • Write out every step of a major job or project before you begin.  Determine how many minutes and hours you will require to complete each phase.  Then race against your own clock.  Make it a game and resolve to win!


15. Maximize Your Personal Powers


  • Resolve today to improve your levels of health and energy by asking the following questions:


            - What am I doing physically that I should be doing more of?

            - What am I doing that I should be doing less of?

            - What am I not doing that I should start doing if I want to perform at my best?

            - What am I doing today that affects my health that I should stop doing altogether?


  • Select one activity or behavior that you can change immediately to improve your overall levels of health and energy.  Practice that one action over and over until it becomes a habit.  Then select a second way to improve and begin on that.


  • Whatever your answers are to the above questions, take action today.


16. Motivate Yourself Into Action


  • Control your thoughts.  You become what you think about most of the time. Be sure you are thinking and talking about the things you want.


  • Keep your mind positive.  Accept complete responsibility for yourself and everything that happens to you.  Refuse to criticize others, complain, or blame others for anything. Keep your thoughts and energy focused forward on what you can do right now to improve your life, and let the rest go.


17. Get Out of the Technological Time Sinks


  • create a zone of silence for one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon.


  • take one full day off each week during which you do not touch your computer.





18. Slice and Dice the Task


·        Salami Slice method - slice a big task into tiny slices that you can accomplish. You feel happier and more powerful when you start and complete a task of any kind


·        Swiss Cheese method - resolve to work for a specific period of time on it even 5 or ten minutes.


·        Take action on a good idea immediately.  Don’t delay. Try it today!

19. Create Large Chunks of Time


·        Schedule blocks of time by planning your day in advance

·        Set aside a specific time for a specific task

·        Get up early and work at home in the morning for several hours

·        Think of different ways to save, schedule and consolidate large chunks of time. Use these times to work on important tasks with the most significant long-term consequences.


·        Make every minute count. Work steadily and continuously without diversion or distraction by planning and preparing your work in advance. 


20. Develop a Sense of Urgency


  • Resolve today to develop a sense of urgency in everything you do.  Select one area where you have a tendency to procrastinate and make a decision to develop the habit of fast action in that area.


  • When you see an opportunity or problem, take action on it immediately.  When you are give a task, take care of it quickly and report back fast.  Move rapidly and you will be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more you get done.


21. Single Handle Every Task


  • Don’t waste time


  • Self discipline is the key


  • Take action! Resolve today to select the most important task or project that you could complete and then launch it immediately.


  • Once you start your most important task, discipline yourself to persevere without diversion or distraction until 100 percent complete.  Set it as a test to determine whether you are the kind of person who can make a decision to complete something and then carry it out.  Once you begin, refuse to stop until the job is finished.