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Eat Frogs First

Sounds like a healthy way to start your morning – cup of coffee, wheat toast, and one juicy frog.

Brian Tracy first introduced to me this concept of eating frogs. My understanding is it is based on a quote credited to Mark Twain who said.

“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.”

Time Management

Every day, we as business owners and industry leaders are faced with a never-ending list of tasks to be accomplished. For us to be successful in the long run, we each need to develop a system of managing those tasks.

Some of us write long to-do lists and get satisfaction as the check marks are added to show our progress. Others use versions of SMART systems to help in identifying what needs to be done. And, probably more than would admit, use no system other than working on the most urgent and most needed task at hand.

Good Management Systems

Good task management systems have several things in common. They all require discipline, force you to follow a daily routine, and help identify the value of each task. But most importantly, task management systems urge you to tackle the most difficult tasks first.

The idea is that on every to-do list is one task that by accomplishing it will produce the biggest return. This single task might affect the most people, make the biggest financial impact, or cause the biggest market adjustment. The return on investment for this task is larger than any other task by far.

But because of its impact, it is probably the most difficult task on the list not only regarding physical effort but also emotionally and mentally.

This task is your frog.

And just as you probably do not like to eat frogs, you subconsciously do not want to complete this task.

Instead of putting this task off and causing your business to stall, you need to develop a mindset to get it, and all the other tasks like it, done.

Hence the idea of eating your frogs first, every day.

The Bible

Just because a specific task is difficult or urgent does not necessarily make it a frog. In addition to a good time management system, we need a separate system that helps us determine the values that separate the important tasks from the rest of the list. Ephesians 5:15-17 says.

Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise,making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

The Bible provides a background for us to use in evaluating the value of all the things we need to accomplish each day. Through this biblical lens, we may find things that need our attention that does not fit the typical business model. Maybe we have an employee who needs a pep talk, a supplier who needs some business advice, or a client who is going through a particularly tough time.

These are high-value frogs that we cannot overlook.

Mark Twain alluded to the fact that we will have more than one frog on our plate at a time. Managing a business is not easy. But with good time management skills and the Bible to rely on in determining the value of all our tasks, we will not only enjoy managing our business, but we will also be successful.