Eat that Frog Book Summary: 21 Great Ways To Stop Procrastination
Nowadays, everyone has too many tasks to do and too little time. In the book “Eat that Frog!”, Brian Tracy presents 21 hacks to help you stop procrastinating and accomplish more in less time.
This useful action guide is for anyone who feels overwhelmed or wants to be more effective at planning, prioritizing, and achieving more results in less time. It is based on 30 years of time management research.
In this Eat That Frog Brian Tracy Summary, we’ll draw attention to the 21 points and focus on a few of them in particular.
⏰ Without further ado, Let’s dive in……….
👉 Overview: Summary Of Eat That Frog By Brian Tracy! – The Basics
The book’s title is derived from a Mark Twain quotation in which he said that if you eat a frog as your first act of the day, it is likely that this will be the worst thing you have to do that day.
Everybody has to complete difficult and ugly tasks. Tracy claims that in order to succeed, we must first eat these tasks or frogs. We should complete them and get them out of the way before continuing.
👉 To Summarize The Entire Book In Short:
In the introduction, Tracy succinctly summarises the book by stating the following:
“Your ability to select your most important task at each moment, and then to get started on that task and to get it done both quickly and well, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop.”
On that single assertion, the rest of the book is built.
In his book, Tracy provides some actionable suggestions for putting each concept into practice, but he typically suggests just one method. Of course, productivity is highly individual; what works for one person might not work for another.
👉 21 Powerful Principles Of The Eat That Frog Productivity Method
Eat That Frog’s core methodology may seem straightforward, but before you can succeed with the strategy, you need to carry out a number of tasks and develop several habits.
In his book, Tracy refers to each of these behaviors as one of the Eat That Frog method’s 21 guiding principles. Some of the guiding principles are actions you must take before employing the method.
The summaries of each of Tracy’s 21 principles are provided below. They will assist you in learning more about the research behind each principle, discovering alternatives to the particular techniques and activities Tracy suggests, and learning about some tools that might help you streamline your new method of managing your tasks and schedule.
1. Set The Table (Define your goals and write them down)
To identify your frog, you must first be certain of your true desire. Clarity is likely the most important productivity component because it encourages you to overcome procrastination and take action.
As per this eat that frog book review, One secret is to think & write it on paper. People who have specific, written goals are 5–10 times more productive than others.
Tracy says: “One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.”
You won’t succeed if you don’t have a plan of action.
Tracy says. “Unwritten goals lead to confusion, vagueness, misdirection, and numerous mistakes.”
Use these 7 steps to set and achieve goals:
- (Define Goals) Be very clear about what you want.
- (Write it down) Put it on paper. Create a tangible idea by putting it on paper.
- (Set Deadlines) Establish a deadline for the objective and any necessary sub-deadlines.
- (List Tasks) Make a list of all the steps you might need to take to accomplish your goal.
- (Set Priority) Create a plan by breaking things down into individual tasks and placing them in order of importance and priority.
- (Start Now) Take immediate action. Action always beats thinking in effectiveness.
- (Act Daily) Take action every day, no matter how small, to advance your main objective. Do not skip even one day.
Getting Started: Set the Table: Write down 10 goals for the upcoming year in the present tense, as if the year has already passed and they are now realities.
E.g. “I’ll read X book”. Choose one goal that will have the greatest positive impact, list it separately, and use the guidelines above to take daily action.
Your frogs are your goal tasks; they are what you should work on first thing each day to increase productivity and success.
2. Plan Every Day In Advance (Create plans for what you’ll work on)
According to the 10/90 Rule, you can cut your work’s execution time in half once you start by spending the first 10% of your time planning. Planning ahead can reduce execution time by ten minutes and increase “return on energy.”
You must schedule your day in advance to be productive. Tracy claims that for every minute spent planning, you will end up saving ten minutes when you begin to act.
A master list, a monthly list, a weekly list, and a daily list are all recommended by Tracy.
- The master list is where you put each and every task you need to do.
- The monthly list is created at the end of one month for the work that needs to be done in the next month.
- The weekly list, which contains the tasks you must complete for that week, is created before the week officially begins.
- The tasks for that day are included on the daily list, which is created (ideally) the previous evening.
Your master list is the source for all subsequent lists. At the end of each month, each week, and each day, you plan your monthly list, your weekly list, and your daily list.
You can arrive at work in the morning knowing exactly what your frog is and start working on it right away by planning your tasks for the following day at the end of the day before.
Getting Started: Plan your days, weeks, and months in advance starting today. Work from lists of priorities, beginning with what needs to be done within the next 24 hours.
3. Apply The 80/20 Rule To Everything (Focus on your 20% tasks)
According to the Pareto principle, you typically get 80% of your results from 20% of your work.
Tracy claims that by concentrating on your frogs, you can make sure that the 20% of tasks that are most important are always given top priority.
For this reason, among others, you should define your goals, divide them into tasks, and work on one goal task each day.
When you don’t, you end up devoting all of your time to 80% of the tasks, which are insignificant, low-value tasks that don’t advance your goals.
- Find the one task that is worth more than the sum of the other tasks; this is the frog you must eat first. This is frequently the most challenging and intricate task you’ll put off doing.
- Controlling your sequence of actions, or what you do next, is essential to time management. Avoid the urge to complete the smaller tasks first; Instead, focus only on the most important tasks first by beginning each day by asking yourself, “Is this task in the top 20% or bottom 80% of my activities?”
Even though an important task won’t necessarily take longer to complete than a less important one, it will be more satisfying.
Prioritization is essential for ensuring that you are always concentrating on 20% of your tasks. Take the time to prioritise so you can be sure you know which tasks will be most valuable because your master list of tasks will change frequently.
A rule to follow (to rule them all..)
Giving up on finishing the smaller tasks first is one guideline to help us concentrate on the 20 percent.
This 80% of tasks frequently result in only 20% of our results. Instead, concentrate on what matters most.
Getting Started: Make a list of all your major objectives, duties, projects, and activities. Always concentrate on the top 10-20% of the population.
4. Consider The Consequences (Think long-term to make better short-term decisions)
Asking “What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?” is another method Tracy suggests using to determine priorities.
It’s easy to feel as though you must finish everything on your to-do list. But in practice, there are some tasks that are just not necessary. It is preferable to assign other tasks to others.
Before beginning a task, think about the implications of doing or not doing it. This will help you find your frogs as well as time-wasting tasks that are better off being crossed off your list or given to someone else.
Instead of setting deadlines for everything and getting anxious when you miss most of them, concentrate on the most important task and give it 20% more time so you can complete it thoroughly.
To narrow your focus, use these 3 questions:
- Which is my action with the highest value?
- What can I do—and no one else—that, if done well, will actually have an impact?
- What is the best thing I can do with my time right now?
Getting Started: Keep asking: What one thing could have the biggest positive impact on my work and personal life if I did it really well? Use this question to find the finest thing to do every hour, starting right away.
5. Practice Creative Procrastination
“Everyone procrastinates,” Tracy writes. “The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.”
Procrastination is typically seen as a bad thing, but the reason for this is that we frequently put off taking care of our frogs.
Our frogs are commonly large, challenging tasks, making them easy to put off. On the other hand, low-value tasks can more often be finished quickly, making it simpler for us to cross them off our lists.
Tracy advises purposefully delaying 80% of your tasks rather than delaying them when it comes to your frogs.
Tracy keeps up the theme of putting off unimportant tasks. We should “procrastinate on purpose,” he advises.
Tracy summarises the principle with this one rule:
“You can get your time and your life under control only to the degree to which you discontinue lower-value activities.”
Pay attention to the crucial tasks. Defer the tasks that are not essential and won’t advance your objectives.
6. Use the ABCDE Method Continually
Tracy also suggests the ABCDE method for prioritization:
- You have to complete “A” tasks; they are your frogs. You can further prioritize if you have multiple must-do items by adding numbers: A-1, A-2, A-3, etc.
- You should complete the “B” tasks. Should-do tasks frequently include responding to emails and showing up to meetings. People may be offended if you don’t, but these tasks aren’t as important as “A” tasks because they aren’t necessarily moving you closer to your goals.
- Nice-to-dos are “C” tasks. Although you probably want to do them, failing to do so has no negative effects.
- You should assign “D” tasks to someone else in order to free up your time for your “A” tasks.
- Tasks beginning with an “E” should be dropped. There is no point in asking someone else to complete tasks that you don’t need or want to complete yourself.
For instance, if you have multiple “A” tasks, number them “A-1,” “A-2,” and so forth in ascending order of importance.
When you’re ready to tackle your list, start with “A” or “A-1” and work your way down. Wait until “A” tasks are finished before working on “B” tasks.
According to Tracy, you should regularly assess your task list using this method. Priorities frequently change over time, so you should make sure that your prioritization takes these changes into account.
7. Focus on Key Result Areas (Understand exactly what work you’re accountable for)
One of the hardest places to focus on your frogs is at work because there are so many distractions there.
There are numerous in-person distractions if you work in an office, in addition to emails, instant messages, meetings, and side projects that need to be completed.
You must comprehend what Tracy refers to as your “key result areas” in order to keep these things from throwing you off course. What job did you get? What outcomes are you expected to produce?
You can justify deleting tasks that are unrelated to your job-specific tasks and goals by being aware of what you are actually responsible for.
Your weakest key performance area is what restricts you!
However, keep in mind that the strength of your weakest key result area will determine how far you can advance with the others. What area or skill is keeping you back?
Tracy asks “What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my career?”
8. Apply the Law of Three (When it’s time to work, work & work)
According to Tracy, working continuously while on the job is the best strategy for achieving work-life balance.
Every minute you waste at work on unproductive activities like social media scrolling or discussing your favourite TV shows with coworkers affects how much time you have to spend away from work, either because you have to put in extra hours or because you’re anxious about unfinished tasks.
There are three main tasks we complete at work every day that have the biggest impact on the value we provide to our company.
Think about the three things you do that have the greatest impact and yield the greatest value.
Find out how you can concentrate more on your three main tasks by eliminating or assigning the others after you’ve identified them.
9. Prepare Thoroughly Before You Begin
Planning your frog for the following day at the end of the previous workday and setting aside time to work on it so you can do so interruption-free are both parts of getting ready for your work in advance.
Making sure you have everything you need ready to go before beginning a task is another aspect, though.
Make sure you have everything you need for the task at hand and that all that is on your desk is what you need for it.
Make sure you are at ease before starting.
10. Take it One Oil Barrel at a Time (Focus on one task at a time)
The story behind this line: Tracy describes how he used a land rover to travel 500 miles across the Sahara Desert.
The French set up oil barrels five kilometres apart years ago because of the sand to prevent people from getting lost.
As you were driving, Tracy claimed you could see two barrels: the one you had just passed and the one in front of you.
Similarly, divide any large projects you need to complete into manageable chunks.Take it one step at a time, one task at a time, and one oil barrel.
When you were planning your goals, you divided them into a number of tasks.
That’s crucial to accomplishing your goals because the more difficult and intimidating a task seems, the more likely you are to put it off.
But once your objectives have been divided into tasks, you must complete each task one at a time.
Just schedule them, give them a priority ranking, and then, when it’s time to eat your frogs, give them your undivided attention.
11. Upgrade Your Key Skills
“A major reason for delay and procrastination is a feeling of inadequacy—lack of confidence or ability in a key area of the task,” Tracy says.
You’ll lean toward procrastination if you experience imposter syndrome or feel unprepared to complete the tasks necessary to achieve your goals.
In order to achieve our key results, we must constantly learn new things and develop our skills. Find ways to develop your skills, whether through reading, listening to audiobooks while driving, or attending seminars and conferences.
12. Leverage Your Special Talents (Use your strengths)
According to Tracy, each of us has special abilities that we can use to “eat specific frogs faster and better than others.”
Discover your strengths, talents, and favourite activities. Concentrate on developing your skills in these areas.
Find your strengths and base your goals on them to achieve your goals more quickly.
Tracy believes that engaging in activities that you enjoy and are good at can significantly improve your capacity to earn.
13. Identify Your Key Constraints (Identify the things that are holding you back)
After you’ve established your goals, consider why you haven’t yet succeeded in achieving each one.
Sometimes an outside factor will be the response to that query. Your calendar resembles a game of checkers, making it impossible for you to complete your goal of five blog posts per week.
So, your top priority is to get rid of that restriction so you can spend more time with your frogs.
However, Tracy asserts that internal factors are typically what limits us. We put off doing things because of imposter syndrome, or we occupy our time with unimportant tasks and diversions.
The problem is usually us: It’s simple to concentrate on the issues outside of us, but according to Tracy, most limitations are internal. Consider what might be preventing you from moving forward, whether it be a deficiency in knowledge or abilities, a bad habit, or something else.
You can move much more quickly toward your objectives if you can recognise these limitations and remove them.
14. Put the Pressure on Yourself (Find your motivation)
A task that your boss has given you with a deadline is simple to begin and finish. Even if you know the result of finishing the task will be positive, it is harder to start and finish a task out of pure desire.
You must put pressure on yourself, advises Tracy, to put these ideas into action. Don’t wait for someone else to inspire or make you do something. Do it now.
Hard work goes above and beyond. Set up fictitious deadlines and meet them. Complete your tasks.
Set your own deadlines, make an effort to beat them, and have high standards for yourself.
15. Maximize Your Personal Powers (Make the most of your energy levels)
According to Tracy, maintaining your energy levels is another way to be as productive as possible. Working too many hours, staying up late, consuming unhealthy foods, and skipping exercise are all ways we drain our energy stores, which negatively affects our productivity.
Each of us has a chronotype, or internal clock, which affects how energetic we are throughout the day. You will work more effectively if you use your chronotype. Working against it makes you less effective.
16. Motivate Yourself into Action (Become an optimist)
Controlling your thoughts is another way to inspire yourself to eat your frogs and achieve your goals. Rather than allowing negativity to creep in and ruin your plans,
According to Tracy, you must “refuse to let the inevitable challenges and failures of everyday life affect your mood and emotions.”
You might be scoffing at this idea if your personality tends more toward pessimism than optimism. Given that,
It is more helpful to think of it as overcoming the doubts and doubts that hold you back, rather than “being a cheerleader” and “seeing the good in every situation.”
You don’t have to be an optimist; you just need to learn how to ignore the ideas that tell you it’s pointless to keep working toward a goal when you encounter obstacles, setbacks, or disappointments.
No matter what the situation, make a commitment to be happy and upbeat. Find the positive in every circumstance and the answer to every issue.
17. Get Out of the Technological Time Sink (Don’t let technology distract you)
Don’t let technology control you.
Although technology is meant to increase productivity, improper use can have the opposite effect.
It’s time to reset and reconsider how you use technology if it seems like you spend your days skipping through emails, instant messages, and phone notifications rather than getting important things done.
Be proactive instead of reactive
To focus on your most important tasks, schedule time away from your phone and email.
According to Tracy, 80% of emails don’t even need to be opened, and 20% of those (or 4% of all your emails) demand a quick response. This is known as the 80/20 rule.
Spend some time disconnecting from technology. For a day, a weekend, or while you are on vacation, turn it off.
Keep in mind, rule your technology, or it will rule you.
18. Slice and Dice the Task (Break your tasks down to their smallest possible components)
After defining your objectives, you turned those objectives into doable tasks. However, Tracy advises going a step further and dividing your tasks into the tiniest pieces.
The task will be simpler, to begin with, and finish because you won’t feel as overwhelmed by the prospect of starting it.
19. Create Large Chunks of Time (Schedule time on your calendar for eating your frogs)
If you also say, “I’m best at multitasking,” then hold on! You are going in the wrong direction.
Multitasking doesn’t help—it’s just harmful.
You must devote significant amounts of time to your frogs in order to see progress.
But it takes a concerted effort to find long stretches of time to concentrate on tasks. You can’t just hope that no one schedules a meeting during the time you’d planned to work on your goal tasks.
Instead, Tracy recommends scheduling time for concentrated work.
To ensure you always have time set aside for goal tasks, schedule time at the end of each workday for working on your frog the following morning.
You can also set up a recurring meeting for the first two hours (or whatever period of time is appropriate) of each day.
20. Develop a Sense of Urgency (Find your flow)
If you want to be productive, develop a sense of urgency.
People who are not productive sit around and plan their next move.
Highly productive people prioritise their tasks and give them some thought before acting. They don’t idle away their time by doing pointless things. They complete tasks.
You must follow suit. Take initiative and complete tasks.
21. Single Handle Every Task (Work on a task until it’s complete)
When you begin eating a frog, keep going until it’s finished. The amount of time it will take you to finish your initial task increases every time you put off working on it in favour of concentrating on something else.
Therefore, once you’ve chosen a task and are working on it, keep going until you can cross it off your to-do list.
You must make sure that your tasks are manageable enough to finish in a single sitting if you want to accomplish this effectively. Make sure you have set aside time to complete your task.
Last but not least, you need to confirm that your time estimate for finishing the task was accurate.
👉 Conclusion: How You Can Boost Your Productivity To The Next Level (Eat That Frog Book Summary In Short)
Your goal tasks and their subtasks are each your frogs; you should “eat” them first thing each day to keep your attention on producing your most significant work.
That’s really the core of Eat That Frog; all of the principles by Tracy are there to support you in your endeavors and keep you from running into roadblocks like doubt, distractions from technology, shoddy planning, and unclear goals.
✅ Here’s a recap of eat that frog book summary by Brain Tracy:
1. Set the Table
2. Plan Each Day in Advance
3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything
4. Consider the Consequences
5. Apply Creative Procrastination
6. Use the ABCDE Method
7. Focus On Key Result Areas
8. Apply The Law Of Three
9. Prepare Thoroughly Before You Begin
10. Take It One Step at a Time
11. Upgrade Your Key Skills
12. Leverage Your Special Talents
13. Identify Your Key Constraints
14. Apply Pressure On Yourself
15. Maximize Your Personal Powers
16. Motivate Yourself Into Action
17. Stop Technological Time Drain
18. Slice And Dice The Task
19. Create Large Chunks Of Time
20. Develop A Sense Of Urgency
21. Single-Handle Every Task
Tracy recommends, “Decide to put these principles into daily practice until they come naturally to you.” Your future success will be limitless if you make these personal management behaviors a permanent part of your personality.
Aditi is a Digital Content Writer, Copywriter & Content Specialist by profession. She strongly believes in the power of words and equips new ideas for imparting extensive knowledge to her readers. When away from work, she likes to explore new places, try new activities, go on adventures, read books and learn about different cultures.