Eat That Frog

Eat That Frog is a time management strategy that tackles procrastination head-on. The Canadian-American motivational speaker Brian Tracy came up with this technique which is originally based on a quote from Mark Twain.

If you’re struggling with managing your time and getting everything done, our time management skills training might help.

What Is The Background To Eat That Frog?

The American writer and humorist Mark Twain 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.’

The writer essentially meant that you should start your day with the most dreadful and challenging task. Once you have completed the major task, you’re only left with the comparatively easier tasks which are easier to finish.

What Is The Eat That Frog Strategy?

Eat That Frog advise you to complete your most important task first and not postpone it till the end of the day. Here, the frog is a metaphor for the most challenging task of the day.  One you are most likely to procrastinate on and has the potential to make a significant difference to your larger goals if completed.

Here’s how to use the Eat That Frog technique for beating procrastination and being more productive at work.

➢  Identify Your Frog

Write down your everyday to-do list. Pick your most challenging task from the list—a major task with the highest potential impact on your larger goals. It is better to identify this the day before to save more time.

➢  Eat Your Frog First Thing In The Morning

Complete the task identified in the first step first thing in the morning. Break it down into small digestible chunks if it seems monumental at first. Ensure you move on to doing anything else only after you complete this.

➢  Repeat This Every Day

Repeat this process every day. Selecting and completing the most significant task each day will help you gain professional and personal development.

Why Does The Eat That Frog Strategy Work?

The Eat That Frog technique is based on simple psychology. Your energy throughout the day is limited; therefore, you need to use it judiciously. Rather than procrastinating till the end of the day to finish the most crucial task, you tackle it in the morning when your energy levels are at their peak.

Also, once the most challenging task is behind you, you can quickly run through the day, accomplishing much more.

4 Reasons To Use Eat That Frog

1.   Beats Procrastination

In this technique, you don’t wait for an opportune moment to complete the task. You start with it as soon as possible, which leaves no room for procrastinating.

2.   Promotes Deep Work

This technique is based on deep work. You push aside everything that distracts you and channels all your energy into finishing this one task. This ensures that you actually accomplish something rather than just looking busy and not getting any work done.

3.   Makes Use Of The Most Efficient Work Hours

It is no secret that not all work hours are equal. Feeling a little drowsy after a heavy lunch is normal, and it is probably not the best time to get serious work done.

This technique asks you to complete the task at the beginning of your work hours – when your energy levels are at their peak. This way, you use your most efficient work hours for professional development.

4.   Simple and Flexible

The Eat That Frog technique is simple as you don’t need anything fancy to use this. It is also very flexible as anyone can employ this to individual benefit irrespective of their goal.

3 Downsides To Eat That Frog

Like all productivity techniques, Eat That Frog also comes with its own downsides or limitations. Some of which are the following.

1. Prior Planning

To choose your ugliest frog, you need to have a fixed schedule. This will help you identify the major task you need to work on.

2. Unpredictability

Unpredictability is not the best friend of this technique. If something more important comes up in the middle of the day, the strategy goes for a toss. You’ll find yourself stuck with a task that isn’t the most significant anymore. Moreover, you’ve most likely depleted your energy reserves working on a trivial task.

3. Efficiency Depends On Your Productive Hours

The efficiency of the technique depends on your use of it during your most productive hours. While the strategy assumes that it is the morning time for most people, it is not always true.

Many people start their work slowly and gradually warm up to the task at hand. For such people, eating a frog right at the start of the day is not a very productive thing to do.

Managing our energy levels throughout the day is essential if we want to accomplish everything we have to do. To learn more about this topic check our article about time and energy management.

What Type Of Person Does Eat That Frog Work Best For?

While Eat That Frog is simple enough to be used by anyone who’s aware of their schedule, it works best for some people.

  • Procrastinators who push their essential tasks to the end of the day
  • Workers with a set of tasks chalked out beforehand
  • People who are always busy with work but can’t seem to get the job done
  • Someone who feels overwhelmed looking at their to-do list
  • Someone who’s least likely to get a major impromptu task

How Does Eat That Frog Work Compared With Other Time Management Systems

As compared to other time management systems, Eat That Frog is simple and requires minimum physical and mental resources. It works best with the Pomodoro technique.

When used in collaboration with the Pomodoro technique, Eat That Frog breaks down a massive task into small chunks. This means you start your work with the most challenging task of the day, do it for 25 mins and then take a break of 5 mins. You repeat this as many times as required to complete the task.


Eat That Frog is a simple, easy and flexible way to stop procrastinating. It focuses on finishing the most critical task of the day first.

You can use this to be much more productive and organized with your work.


About Ben Richardson

Ben is a director of Acuity Training. He writes about SQL, Power BI and Excel on a number of industry sites including SQLCentral, SQLshack and codingsight.