Brian Tracy with Three Questions to Supercharge Your Abilities
40 free copies of the classic book, Eat That Frog!
Leave a comment on this guest post by Brian Tracy to become eligible to win one of FORTY complimentary copies of, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. (Deadline: 4/22/2017)
Note: International winners will receive electronic versions.
There simply isn’t enough time to do everything on your to-do list.
The truth? There will never be enough time.
In modern society, there are more and more things that demand your time. It’s challenging to keep organized. It’s tough to prioritize your most important tasks.
The secret? Don’t try to do everything.
Successful people learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done.
Supercharge your abilities:
Successful people eat their frogs.
“Eating a frog” is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging and most valuable task first.
I’ve found that people who harness self-discipline to tackle their most important thing, first thing, every day, supercharge their ability to get more things done in less time.
Start by getting the most important thing done.
Get one important thing done first thing each day. Eating your frog means choosing to focus on what’s most valuable for you to do — in every moment.
3 questions to supercharge your abilities:
#1. What are my highest value activities?
#2. What can I, and only I do, that if done well, will make a big difference?
#3. What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
These three questions ensure that you are using your time in the most effective way. If you can successfully focus your time toward its most valuable use, in every moment, you will be well on your way to supercharging your abilities.
What does ‘eat a frog’ mean to you?
How might leaders help others eat frogs?
40 free copies of the classic book, Eat That Frog!
Leave a comment on this guest post by Brian Tracy to become eligible to win one of FORTY complimentary copies of, Eat That Frog. (Deadline: 4/22/2017)
Note: International winners will receive an electronic version.
Brian Tracy is a bestselling author. In addition to Eat That Frog, Brian has written more than 80 books that have been translated into 42 languages, including Kiss That Frog!, Find Your Balance Point, Goals!, Flight Plan, Maximum Achievement, No Excuses!, Advanced Selling Strategies, and How the Best Leaders Lead. He is happily married, with four children and five grandchildren. He is the president of Brian Tracy International and lives in Solana Beach, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This reminded me the jar of life philosophy of doing the things in the order of its importance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_N_uvq41Pg
As soon as the most unpleasant task of the day is done, it’s all downhill from there!
Great article which reinforces the audio book I started listening to this morning on my commute to work – The Success Principles by Jack Canfield also highly suggests Brian’s book Eat That Frog. Had just added it to my wish list… 🙂
Great article. Prioritization is key to staying organized and getting things done.
A quickie but a goodie! Thank you. Can I also comment that I like this font? 🙂
I love the idea of knocking out the most challenging task first. I need to remind myself of this and be more diligent in accomplishing this during the little free time I have available each day.
This is a hard truth to swallow for me –” There simply isn’t enough time to do everything on your to-do list. The truth? There will never be enough time.” But I know it’s so! I use variations of questions #1 & 2 — I need to do so more consistently. Adding question #3 will no doubt help. Time to “eat the frog!”
I take the time at the end of the day to review my priorities for the following day – adjust as necessary. A frog for breakfast? Bring it on!
It is decision management, not time management, that makes a difference
Getting thing done that can get long term work or quick end to projects done or moving by others. It closes door on items that are done and get others to start. During that’s time you can concentrate on items that only you can do.
I love this! I have always called the frog the impact tasks. What do I do now to make the most impact? Great post.
As a John Maxwell Team coach, trainer and speaker, the amount of information and opportunities that exist are exhausting. As I keep focusing on the most important, I felt God keeps telling me to simplify and that is what “Eat the Frog” points towards. If we believe everything on the to-do list is important then nothing is important. Great reflection!
Great post! I find that the thing I want to do least (or don’t want to do at all) is my frog. Usually by the time I handle it, I wonder why I didn’t sooner! Procrastination and the myth that I “work well under pressure” are my downfalls…..
I have always wanted to read this book – and excited to come across this post today! Thank you for the motivation this morning.
It is always a challenge to set that tone for each and every day ;relinquishing the distraction and the ‘urgent mattera’ that take our attention from our daily plans.
This concept drives us to the core of what is ‘valuable’ in our work day within our role asa leader.
In an interview recently I was asked how I would handle competing priorities. After thinking for a few short seconds, the answer was twofold. First, I’d eat the frog, of which I later explained. However, I would attempt to be a bit proactive and mindful so that I would have an understanding of exactly what was the frog and what was simply bait.
If you want something done, always give it to a busy person since they eat frogs. They know what is important and execute around priorities!
As someone who struggles to start – especially a difficult task, this is especially impactful! Thank you for the guidance!!
Wow, the name Brian Tracy brought back many memories! When I was starting my engineering company decades ago, I had several large collections of Brian Tracy cassette tapes (which is in itself an indication of how long ago it was). I’m always intrigued that there’s never enough time for me to do everything, but at some point, I decide I’ve done enough. The key is to make sure the really important stuff (not confined to ‘work’) is included in that ‘enough’.
Thanks for jumping in Glen!
I like your point, Gvan! Recognizing when “enough” has been done is an important aspect that bleeds into a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, running till we burn out is a foregone conclusion. I think we just need to give ourselves the permission to quit when enough is enough.
Learning the principles behind decision management from Brian Tracy and learning about the 5 second rule from Mel Robbins have had a profound impact on my ability to move from to-do lists to taking true actions to move ahead.
I love these 3 questions for ensuring I’m working on the most important stuff. I might add one more that works well for me… How does this align with my/our purpose and values?
Love Brian Tracy’s work
To me, tackling the most important thing first requires a mindset shift. For the longest time I would want to do small things first and check all the boxes. It gave me a feeling of accomplishment. However, simply by the nature of the task I was doing 80% of the work only to yield 20% of the results.
The interesting part is, by procrastinating to do first things first, I end up with less time to do the one thing that is most important. Leading to stress and sub-excellent execution. Figure out when you are at your best, and give the important task(s) the time and effort they deserve 🙂
Terrific article! This is a great reminder.
There is only so much time in a day. There is always going to be a finite number of days and years to my life. I remember that and I think of my purpose in life. It motivates me to use my time wisely. When I ponder how fragile life is it always gives perspective and reminds me to pursue things that, as you mentioned, bring value to myself and OTHERS. I love learning things, how to be the best I can at those things in life, but everything boils down to waking up every morning and asking myself what I can do today that aligns with my purpose to be impactful in someone’s life. Thank you for the reminder to focus on the important things. I am definitely a list type of person and I will try to put those frogs at the top 🙂
great one! the eye opener…& mind set changer..a game changing habit..
One of the challenging dilemmas facing many professionals in their work is how to keep the balance between activities and the big picture/ goal at the forefront of their work. Many people focus so narrowly on the daily grind that they get lost as what all that means in a project. I have seen this challenge in the various international projects i have been part of in the past several years. This is one fundamental reason why many projects are not achieving their goals/ impact. ”Eat the Frog” is timely and will assist in dealing with this challenge
Eating the frog – a great metaphor – to challenge daily discipling self for success! The nagging question is: how to develop new habits and get rid of the old ones?
This post has given me hope! Whether it is work or personal life, I never feel done. Eating the “frog” first thing is an awesome idea and helps with the guilt. Thanks!
Good reminder to not let the whirlwind distract from what matters most.
What a great article! Starting my day with my priorities is the glue to keeping it all together. At the end of the day I prioritize what needs to be done the following day. Emails and voicemails can change my priorities sometimes BUT that is the reason for checking both at the start of the day. Demands change and my goal is to be on top of what must be done daily. Workdays can be so hectic and challenging, sometimes I can get boggled down with the demands but being conscious of what is a priority, my goals and to accomplish the task in front of me keeps me focused and organized. Eat a frog today!
Love this post! Great reminder that this principle applies on and off the job! It’s easy to get caught up in all the noise that pulls you in different directions!
We tend to make the time for the things we want to do – and don’t have time to do the things we really didn’t want to do in the first place. In a word – priorities.
It can’t be better than that. This is a wonderful explained book to prioritize your life and successful accomplish things.
Like the three questions – They could be in any order – Sometimes Q3 could be the first go to.
This reminds me of the tip to set a timer for 30 minutes and focus on a specific task during that time. It’s impressive how much you can get done by focusing on one thing during a dedicated block of time.
Great post! Brian Tracy has some great insight. I am currently reading another book by him on Time Management.
I exercise the “Eat the Frog” strategy in my professional and personal life (I never gave it a name). I found from experience, if you get that difficult task out of the way, it won’t be constantly nagging you. People expend a lot of energy on things they are not doing anything about, therefore it leave less energy and interferes with their ability to focus on their other work. If I eat the frog first, I am able to get on with the rest of my day whether at work or on vacation!!
Excellent article. Short, to the point and very helpful
I love the idea of tackling something important first thing in the morning – for me I tend to schedule meetings with folks at that time which often means I can’t get to “my work” until later and often very “later”. I want to work on scheduling my time better to ensure either that 8AM meeting IS very important or pushing those off to allow for some productivity first thing. Thanks Brian!
This is a great tip for energizing your day with a big win, but sometimes those big wins take more an a day and a small win might be what is needed to keep moral high to tackle the larger projects. Over all a great little write up.
A great reminder! I recently have been interested in the Agile process for product R&D and the idea is to tackle the most difficult aspect of an unknown first. This had me thinking that should apply to how I prioritize my work – and then I received this edition of Leaderhsip Freak! Could someone be trying to tell me something? Thanks
I’ve heard this idea before. And particularly in my current role, I have struggled unsuccessfully to eat my frog. I spend the first hours of my work day preparing and serving the frogs for the two teams that I manage.
Brian’s three questions (particularly 2 and 3) help me to realize that the reason my teams are so productive is that my highest value IS aligning and unblocking my people. Oh, yes, and I still have that data mapping that I need to get done today but now I can close the door and focus on that knowing that everyone else has their frog.
Questions are good.
I guess my epiphany here is I am at the point in my life where health is becoming the most important thing so my frog is going to be getting a workout in first thing every morning and I am confident I will be energized to tackle the rest of my day with gusto… Thanks for the message
My mother collected frogs and I happen to like frogs so I read this with only 1 thing in mind…. change the animal/change the action. So, I’m going to use the metaphor of stopping the grasshopper from jumping and hitting it’s head on the lid of the container. Most days my boss asks me for a document or report that is not prepared. This was a wake up call to start putting that priority together and learn what to have ready….stop that grasshopper from hitting it’s head.
Focus should always be on those things where you can make a difference and add value. Great thoughts on this issue!
It’s seems like an obvious thing, but tackling the most valuable/challenging task is pushed off by so many people. I’d love to read the book to see how I might best tackle this challenge and hopefully learn a bit about helping others with this as well.
I really liked the comment about this being decision management, not time management. It’s knocking out the important things based off of a plan of attack. Feels good when you start the day off right!
My frog is getting up at 4:40 in the morning. The rest is easy.
Great post! I like the idea of focusing on “the most valuable ” vis a vis ” the most important”. Thanks!
Another bit of Brian Tracy advice that ties in well with the Frog is:
“PLAN YOUR DAY IN ADVANCE.”
If the day or evening before, you identify what the “Frog” is, you’re likely doing so with greater mental clarity than if you do it during the “morning rush.” Hence, you’ll be more likely to select the right frog for the right reasons.
The big take away that spoke to me was making the list with your top six things you have to accomplish,then choose the number one and work that way each day.
Interesting metaphor and something I’ll remember!
I learn so much and get pointed reminders from these daily posts, that it really helps. thanks and keep up the good work
Like listening, prioritizing tasks is something we think we do well, but often fall short. Great timing for me as we wrap up a busy semester, and I will pass these ideas onto my staff.
Prioritize, and then, as a leader, do what provides the most value to your company/team and delegate what you can. Thanks for your post!
A good reminder to not let the “urgent but not important” take over from the truly important tasks. Easier said than done!
1st things 1st. This a great leadership reminder to simplify, simplify simplify to maximize!
Love this! Leadership Freak is usually my first daily, start the day read but…today I had to eat another frog that demanded my attention! Hence I’m 58 in the queue! LOL…go figure!
Thanks for the daily reminders though that help me hone my skillset!
Intentional decision making. Planning and Prioritizing rather than reacting. Thanks!
Reading this made me think of the time people, myself included, oftwn waste thinking about that priority item while we take care of other smaller tasks and less crucial things. We become distracted from doing the things that are distracting us from what is truly important. Great article. Thank you.
“put the big rocks in first”
So easy to say, and yet, I see jars being filled with the small pebbles many times, and the big rocks don’t fit.
If I forget about being intentional, I do it too!
“Eat That Frog” is a great reminder and solution for everyone!
Awesome article and great reminder!
Self-discipline is key. Then comes the positive boost of accomplishment. A no-brainer for a productive day!
Eat that frog is a such a great element to incorporate into your life! I have found myself using it when I have to have difficult conversations. It’s that extra push that you need to “just do it”.
These questions can help you weather your CEO or waiting tables.
Love the concept of eating your frog! Often I’m so busy kissing frogs, looking for that one Prince, that I fail to accomplish anything
When overwhelmed with tasks, I find it’s often more suitable (for me) to pluck the low-hanging fruit first. Get the easy stuff off the list so there’s room in my mind and on my desk for the larger challenges. This isn’t always the right answer; sometimes the larger projects take the priority time slot, but I’m often comforted (and bolstered) by being able to cross things off the list quickly.
Thanks Tracy. I’m glad you shared your insights!
Thanks Tracy, but I think the author recommends the opposite approach actually: do the most important, biggest, most ugly task first so that one does not lose time& focus for most important task by dealing with the easy tasks…
I don’t believe I have ever heard of the concept of “eat that frog”. Great analogy and very insightful ways to think about making the most of your time and tackling the hardest things first. Great article and would love to read the book.
It is vital to know what is your most important task each day and work on what is important rather than urgent.
Love it! Great info in quick reads. Thanks!
Great post! Successful people do that hard things that others are unwilling to do.
My bathroom has frogs & fairies in it; some see decor but it is a reminder of doing hard things (like eating or kissing a frog) & having fun that is light & fairy like to lift me up. BALANCE OF BOTH – for a healthy life!
Fun! Thanks Tracy
Excellent article. Time management is one of the most audacious task! Author has nicely described howto decide the priority, delegate and do yourself can be the most effective solution for this. The the three questions help to answer this and one can eat the frog and have his nice breakfast, lunch or dinner as the case may be!
How do you reconcile urgent tasks with important tasks? I still struggle with that. Sometimes it makes sense to do the urgent tasks because they allow others to move forward with their work, or get something launched that is important.
Thanks Hannah, I wonder if considering the timeline helps. Will it matter in a few hours, few days, few months, few years. The things that matter over the long-term are important.
Here’s another tip. When an employee runs up with a ‘crisis,’ that isn’t really a crisis, explain that you are in the middle of something and ask, “Could it wait till this afternoon.” Often by the time the afternoon comes the ‘crisis’ is solves or passed.
Eating a frog?!?!? Does it taste like chicken? See, once again, I have learned something new – that’s why I read these posts – and I really like how this prioritization concept to tackle the most important task first was presented in a different manner. Thanks!
I really needed this post today! Thank you.
I’m intrigued and would love to read more…
Yes! I tell my students and fellow teachers to “Eat the Frog” here at school! Get it done and move on. It is so important for our youth to create good habits and one is to avoid procrastination. I am a 6-12 librarian. I would love to have a copy of this book on the library shelf for them to read! Thanks!
Hmmmm….I have to think about my “highest value activities” more. I do think of what’s the best use of my time right now all the time, but that doesn’t take me into the future.
Thank you for your inspiring posts – ribbit, ribbit!
I love books like that – it will go nicely along side my copy of “who moved my
Cheese? !!! ; )
This totally speaks to me! I am a huge procrastinator. I need to learn this skill, NOW!
Thank you for the continued great articles and insight. Time management is a constant issue for myself and many of the team members that report to me. I would love to dive into this book to help myself and coach my team. Thx.
I always feel better once I tackle a big task, but I wish I was better at taking the initiative.
Thanks – interesting stuff!
I guess I’ll be eating frog for breakfast every day!
Staple on my menu every day, preferably breakfast.
Someone told me that if you tackle the bigger challenges (and tasks you’d like to put off) first, the rest can be accomplished quicker, and may even to on tomorrow’s list. Would those be called tadpoles?
I need this book! I am struggling with work life balance and love lists but I rarely circle THE #1 thing on the list. Instead of letting the list stress me, I need to make it and circle that one thing for the next day and then EAT it for breakfast.
It is all about your personal habits. Do you ask questions? Do you listen? Do you plan ahead? How effective are your meetings? Do you empower others? As many have said, make the most of time time you have and help others achieve goals that are both personal and organizational. Identify and model those successful habits and behaviors.
Prioritizing and delegating are key. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the amount of things on our to do list so end up doing none of them!
Great topic! Finding the time to tackle the big issues every day will make the smaller issues fly by and a breeze! Thanks for the post!
Tomato Timer (Pomodoro technique) and being intentional about where I invest my time have been key for me in my role. I focus on those decisions that 1)Impact people or 2) decisions that have a lasting impact on the organization. I have never “eaten the frog” and regretted it. Do the hard things and do them first. Thanks!
Tackling the big issues first everyday will help make the small issues be a cakewalk and will help make better use of time. I have found that this at times eliminates some of the smaller issues because what may have been important isn’t anymore or I have found that someone else can take over that issues. Thanks for the post!
I have been applying the “eat the frog” metaphor in prioritizing my work for the past few years. It has made a significant improvement in not only my productivity but also my satisfaction with my work. Once I get the “frog” out of the way, I can focus more energy on tasks that I find more enjoyable. Great post!!
I try to do this everyday! But it is challenging to make this apart of my daily routine.
A great reminder! I normally to the most important/hardest items first. The exception is when I start to feel stressed and overwhelmed. When that happens it’s easy to forget about this simple strategy!
Eat a frog means prioritizing, putting first things first…even if I don’t want to do it.
Absolutely good stuff, and…the things you may hate to do but need to do? First thing in the morning is best.
The best advice if often simple and easily understood – as a leader it’s critical to role model the behaviour you are after – the congruence of walking your talk makes coaching much more effective.
Right now, I am balancing full time employment with a full time business degree. I’m inundated with frogs. I just had two hours sleep after spending all night doing an assignment..er I mean.. eating a frog!? It’s quite the delicacy let me say. Because, in 3 years when my degree is complete – i’m inviting everyone over for frog leg soup. LOL!! 🙂
Get the most important thing done before all the little things pop up and get in your way
This is a great principle. Although I wonder if there’s also an individual aspect to it.
For example, I’ve noticed that I’m the most creative in the mornings, a bit more sluggish around noon and then gear up again in the late afternoon. That means that I do creative work in the morning (like writing, problem solutions), “simple” stuff around noon (answering e-mails, calls) and then get into a doer mode in the late afternoon when things just get done.
(Does this make me a dreamer-feeler-doer?)
My point is that if you know yourself and how you function in your environment you can perhaps tweak your days to get the most out of them in alignment with your long term goals. For some, frogs could taste better for lunch than for breakfast…
Permit me to nickname this ‘Prioritization 101’. I like the direct approach advised. This is relevant in both work, family and social environments. I would like to learn its application to the need for holistic view especially in leadership and coordination situations for volunteering causes. Thanks
The idea to focus on tackling one important thing makes everything seem so much more manageable. It also is a reminder to prioritize. I appreciate the question, “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” It’s easy to get sidetracked by the small requests and little things. I appreciate this reminder to put first things first.
I would love to read this book! I say all the time I need just a few more hours
In my day!! Need to focus on the ffrog! Love the blog and your messages! Videos too on website are great!
My day does bring more meanings and effectiveness when I write two to three things down that need done
Makes a lot of sense, I can certainly buy into this. Will try this over the next few weeks and see what difference it makes. Thanks
This is a great idea and this book looks like a must read!
Dan, your blog on Brian Tracy’s advice from “Eat That Frog” struck a nerve with your readership! Most of us know we have too much on our plates, with never-ending to-do lists. Prioritizing is critically important, and is a key element of lean, kanban, and critical chain project management. Perhaps, just as important, is to focus on finishing. Multi-tasking diffuses our energy and attention — and results in more mistakes and more distant — if ever — completion horizons. As mentioned in “The Project Manifesto,” we should value finishing more that starting. Avoid multitasking if at all possible!
Good practical advice. (I like the font too.)
Brian Tracy has remained an effective trainer with his unique style! He has a crisp message of asking managers to prioritize tasks in their professional life.
Competing with the self while achieving difficult tasks can be a primary motive of any professional in moving upwards in a career. The book can be of great use for keen professionals to learn on developing good skills and techniques to handle routine things with creativity and innovation.
So important for new supervisors, especially those that come from the ranks and were technical experts. I’ll be sharing this with my leadership team not only for them but to help hold myself accountable too. This has to be a team philosophy to be most successful.
Thanks for the reminder – using the first hours of the morning for the most important task is incredibly effective, and yet I am constantly challenged when all the morning (and overnight) email blasts show up to distract me (Leadership Freak excepted, of course!)
Don’t open email until you have the first task done for the day.
Eat That Frog is one of my favorite books and time to read it again!!! Knocking out the hard stuff first really works but have to say I still fight with myself to do so. Thanks for the great reminder!!!
Yes!! That book is on my list of books to read asap!!
Prioritisation is the key, and tackling the most challenging and highest value done from the top of list sounds sensible! Being able to resolve the most challenging tasks providing with biggest sense of pride and this often implies overall risk reduction, and subsequently, the rest of tasks became so much easiest. Getting the most valuable tasks done as the priority is just simply make sense!
Difficult tasks are usually the most stressful and delayed. Over the years, experience has shown addressing those difficulties first allows the easier tasks to flow freer and faster, not because following tasks are actually easier; but they don’t trip over the mental elephant that hindered their completion.
Afterwards a nice exhale, complimented with a Pinot and dish of Cuisses de grenouille, you realize we are our own worst enemies. Few difficulties are as bad as we imagined.
Have not read the book yet, but will when I win it..!!
My top 3 career enhancers…. Being Honest, having an Open Door Policy and never forgetting my journey and where I came from..!!
Would love to read the book and win a copy. The more you grow in your career – priorities change and it is challenging to redefine what you do that brings the most value. I am really struggling with this concept – but that is the good news… I am at least excercising those priority muscles – I can only get stronger. Thanks!
I love these concepts and think they are so important. I’d love the opportunity to win a copy and read the book.
Every day priority first, works for me.
What doesn’t get done today will be there tomorrow. If it must be done today, see first sentence.
“How might leaders help others eat frogs?” Leaders can help others in a number of ways. But maybe the most basic is to help create and maintain a culture whereby everyone is valued, respected, and therefore given the freedom and confidence to recognise that they have important things to contribute to the success of the whole – which means that they too have frogs to consume! Too many people in organisations probably think they aren’t important enough to have a frog to eat. Frogs in some organisations only exist for bosses and managers to consume – very conspicuously too, because they need to feel that frog-eating makes them more important than everyone else! So I think the most basic thing a leader can do is be humble enough to be able to facilitate everyone else in recognising their own unique frog, and to have the confidence (nay new-found audacity!) to consume that frog with joy and alacrity! Maybe the leader’s frog is in reality the duty to inspire everyone else to eat their frogs…
Great concepts from a great author, motivator and educator.
Always enjoy Mr. Tracy’s books and insights on how to improve and be more effective.
Great practical wisdom
Taking time at night to plan the coming day allows me to meet my frogs before I eat them. When I ran my own company, I worked with managers, communicating my priorities for the day vs. what they have planned. In the end we learned to work with one another, often anticipating a need before it happens. Willingness and communication help us all identify our frogs.
I have been a fan for many years. I’m currently reading “Maximum Achievement.
Great explanation about how to create the biggest impact at work every day by prioritising the tasks correctly. Work smarter not harder. The most ugly looking one is your frog for the breakfast.
And to ensure the biggest impact within your limited time:
-Shoot the deer 🦌 first not the sparrow 🐦 !
While I think I have lots of intrinsic motivation, sometimes I need temptation bundling to eat those frogs. So I sometimes dip them in chocolate.