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Should You Eat the Frog? Time Management Technique Explained in Surprisingly Simple Words

Dec 28, 2021

By Shubham Kushwah

Reading time — 4 minutes

Should You Eat the Frog? Time Management Technique Explained in Surprisingly Simple Words at veonr blog by shubham kushwah

Mark Twain, an American writer once 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."

In simple terms, this means: You should finish the hardest task on your priority list - first thing every morning. And if you do that, everything else will seem easy.

This is very well connected with how Dopamine detox works, but let's take a closer look at it. Should you really eat the frog?

What does eating the frog mean?

Eat the frog is a term popularized by famous American writer Mark Twain. What he meant is that if you eat a live frog early in the morning, then there's nothing else that can make your day worse. Of course, he meant it metaphorically, you shouldn't eat a real live frog. Here's why

What he means is, if there is a list of tasks you need to get done, then pick the hardest one, and do it first. And if you do this, then the rest of the tasks will not seem that daunting.

Does Eat the frog technique work?

I tried this strategy in my daily life, and honestly, it's not the "one for all" kind of technique, since a lot of people have different kinds of goals in life, and different kinds of priorities. So based on what your goal is, your priorities will change.

This is not to say that this technique doesn't work, but what I mean is there are other variations that might work better for you. For example, suppose you have 10 frogs to eat, and eating the biggest frog first takes you a good 2-3 hours of time investment. And you're then done with the 1 task out of 10, which might not be motivating to you, even though it's the biggest task of all.

But instead, you might want to try eating 7 small frogs, so you're left with only 3 frogs, and you have till the end of the day. Now that doesn't sound so bad, does it?

Yes, I know. In the end, the total amount of time taken "mathematically" would be the same, but we're not machines, we're humans, and we're bound to other factors than maths as well, like psychology, motivation, sense of direction, etc.

So choosing the best strategy for you is the real deal here, find one that fits you best, and go ahead with it. But no matter what you choose, you will need some sort of system in place.

Finding your best productivity system

Honestly, I have come across tons of productivity systems, that people claim have changed their lives. And yes I have my favorites too. But one that works for someone might not work for you. Even the one that works for most, might not work for you.

One thing that will work for everyone regardless is staying in motion. Keep moving. Don't sit idle trying to find the best technique that will work for you. No, you won't find it. Just stick with one, implement it in your life for a decent amount of time, say 90 days at least. Then decide whether to pivot or keep moving.

You can't pick one and try it for a day and roll it out of the window. These are systems that will take time for it to blend into your life, give it some time. Track it. Monitor it. Tweak it.

Most importantly write your tasks down, go old school - do it on a pen & paper, or find great tools online, like:

  1. Google Keep - More than just a note-taking app
  2. Evernote - Not quite a task management app, but great for notes
  3. VeoTasks - Beautiful to-do manager, multiple projects in one dashboard
  4. Spreadsheets? - Old school excel-like interface


Eating the frog is an amazing technique, it has worked for many individuals who have ever wanted to time-manage like a pro. You should definitely give it a try as well, and see if it's for you. I really liked the idea of it, and have seen many positive responses from people who have benefitted from it.

Good Luck! Hope you find your fit.

Follow me on Twitter @shubmakes


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