Eat That Frog! 3rd Edition

21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Brian Tracy (Author)

Publication date: 04/17/2017

Bestseller over 1,600,000+ copies sold

Eat That Frog!
In this revised and updated new edition of the bestselling classic (1.5 million copies sold), Eat That Frog! tackles the digital world s new innovations and challenges to personal time management.Stop Procrastinating

Get More of the Important Things Done—Today!

There just isn't enough time for everything on our to-do list—and there never will be. Successful people don't try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure those get done. They eat their frogs.

There's an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're done with the worst thing you'll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life.
Eat That Frog! shows you how to organize each day so you can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively.

In this fully revised and updated edition, Tracy adds two new chapters. The first explains how you can use technology to remind yourself of what is most important and protect yourself from what is least important. The second offers advice for maintaining focus in our era of constant distractions, electronic and otherwise.

But one thing remains unchanged: Brian Tracy cuts to the core of what is vital to effective time management: decision, discipline, and determination. This life-changing book will ensure that you get more of your important tasks done—today!

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Overview

In this revised and updated new edition of the bestselling classic (1.5 million copies sold), Eat That Frog! tackles the digital world s new innovations and challenges to personal time management.Stop Procrastinating

Get More of the Important Things Done—Today!

There just isn't enough time for everything on our to-do list—and there never will be. Successful people don't try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure those get done. They eat their frogs.

There's an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're done with the worst thing you'll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life.
Eat That Frog! shows you how to organize each day so you can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively.

In this fully revised and updated edition, Tracy adds two new chapters. The first explains how you can use technology to remind yourself of what is most important and protect yourself from what is least important. The second offers advice for maintaining focus in our era of constant distractions, electronic and otherwise.

But one thing remains unchanged: Brian Tracy cuts to the core of what is vital to effective time management: decision, discipline, and determination. This life-changing book will ensure that you get more of your important tasks done—today!

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Brian Tracy



Brian Tracy is one of America's leading authorities on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness. A dynamic and inspiring speaker, he addresses thousands of people each year on the subjects of personal and professional development, including the executives and staff of such firms as IBM, Arthur Andersen, McDonnell Douglas, and The Million Dollar Round Table. Prior to founding his own firm, Brian Tracy International, he had successful careers in sales and marketing, investments, real estate development, distribution, and management consulting. Tracy is the author of thirteen previous books including the bestselling book Maximum Achievement. He is also the author/narrator of numerous bestselling audiocassette programs, including The Psychology of Achievement and How to Start and Succeed in Your Own Business. For more information about Brian Tracy, please visit www.briantracy.com.

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Excerpt

Eat That Frog!

Preface

Thank you for picking up this book. I hope these ideas help you as much as they have helped me and thousands of others. In fact, I hope this book changes your life forever.

There is never enough time to do everything you have to do. You are literally swamped with work and personal responsibilities, endless e-mails, social media, projects, stacks of magazines to read, and piles of books you intend to get to one of these days—as soon as you get caught up.

But the fact is that you are never going to get caught up. You will never get on top of your tasks. You will never get far enough ahead to be able to get to all those e-mails, books, magazines, and leisure-time activities that you dream of.

And forget about solving your time management problems by becoming more productive. No matter how many personal productivity techniques you master, there will always be more to do than you can ever accomplish in the time you have available to you, no matter how much it is.

You can get control of your time and your life only by changing the way you think, work, and deal with the never-ending river of responsibilities that flows over you each day. You can get control of your tasks and activities only to the degree that you stop doing some things and start spending more time on the few activities that can really make a difference in your life.

I have studied time management for more than forty years. I have immersed myself in the works of Peter Drucker, Alec Mackenzie, Alan Lakein, Stephen Covey, and many, many others. I have read hundreds of books and thousands of articles on personal efficiency and effectiveness. This book is the result.

Each time I came across a good idea, I tried it out in my own work and personal life. If it worked, I incorporated it into my talks and seminars and taught it to others.

Galileo once wrote, “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”

Depending upon your level of knowledge and experience, these ideas may sound familiar. This book will bring them to a higher level of awareness. When you learn and apply these methods and techniques over and over until they become habits, you will alter the course of your life in a very positive way.

Learning from Successful People

Let me tell you something about myself and the origins of this little book. I started off in life with few advantages, aside from a curious mind. I did poorly in school and left without graduating. I worked at laboring jobs for several years. My future did not appear promising.

As a young man, I got a job on a tramp freighter and went off to see the world. For eight years, I traveled and worked and then traveled some more, eventually visiting more than eighty countries on five continents.

When I could no longer find a laboring job, I got into sales, knocking on doors, working on straight commission. I struggled from sale to sale until I began looking around me and asking, “Why is it that other people are doing better than I am?”

Then I did something that changed my life. I began to ask successful people what they were doing that enabled them to be more productive and earn more money than me. And they told me. I did what they advised me to do, and my sales went up. Eventually, I became so successful that I was made a sales manager. As a sales manager, I used the same strategy. I asked successful managers what they did to achieve such great results, and when they told me, I did it myself. In no time at all, I began to get the same results they did.

This process of learning and applying what I had learned changed my life. I am still amazed at how simple and obvious it is. Just find out what other successful people do and do the same things until you get the same results. Learn from the experts. Wow! What an idea.

Success Is Predictable

Simply put, some people are doing better than others because they do things differently and they do the right things right. Especially, successful, happy, prosperous people use their time far, far better than the average person.

Coming from an unsuccessful background, I had developed deep feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. I had fallen into the mental trap of assuming that people who were doing better than me were actually better than me. What I learned was that this was not necessarily true. They were just doing things differently, and what they had learned to do, within reason, I could learn as well.

This was a revelation to me. I was both amazed and excited with this discovery. I still am. I realized that I could change my life and achieve almost any goal I could set if I just found out what others were doing in that area and then did it myself until I got the same results they were getting.

Within one year of starting in sales, I was a top salesman. A year later I was made a manager. Within three years, I became a vice president in charge of a ninety-five-person sales force in six countries. I was twenty-five years old.

Over the years, I have worked in twenty-two different jobs; started and built several companies; earned a business degree from a major university; learned to speak French, German, and Spanish; and been a speaker, trainer, or consultant for more than 1,000 companies. I currently give talks and seminars to more than 250,000 people each year, with audiences as large as 20,000 people.

A Simple Truth

Throughout my career, I have discovered and rediscovered a simple truth. The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status, and happiness in life. This key insight is the heart and soul of this book.

This book is written to show you how to get ahead more rapidly in your career and to simultaneously enrich your personal life. These pages contain the twenty-one most powerful principles on personal effectiveness I have ever discovered.

These methods, techniques, and strategies are practical, proven, and fast acting. In the interest of time, I do not dwell on the various psychological or emotional explanations for procrastination or poor time management. There are no lengthy departures into theory or research. What you will learn are specific actions you can take immediately to get better, faster results in your work and to increase your happiness.

Every idea in this book is focused on increasing your overall levels of productivity, performance, and output and on making you more valuable in whatever you do. You can apply many of these ideas to your personal life as well.

Each of these twenty-one methods and techniques is complete in itself. All are necessary. One strategy might be effective in one situation and another might apply to another task. All together, these twenty-one ideas represent a smorgasbord of personal effectiveness techniques that you can use at any time, in any order or sequence that makes sense to you at the moment.

The key to success is action. These principles work to bring about fast, predictable improvements in performance and results. The faster you learn and apply them, the faster you will move ahead in your career—guaranteed!

There will be no limit to what you can accomplish when you learn how to Eat That Frog!

Brian Tracy
Solana Beach, California
January 2017

Eat That Frog!

Introduction: Eat That Frog

This is a wonderful time to be alive. There have never been more possibilities and opportunities for you to achieve more of your goals than exist today. As perhaps never before in human history, you are actually drowning in options. In fact, there are so many good things that you can do that your ability to decide among them may be the critical determinant of what you accomplish in life.

If you are like most people today, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time. As you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities just keep rolling in, like the waves of the ocean. Because of this, you will never be able to do everything you have to do. You will never be caught up. You will always be behind in some of your tasks and responsibilities, and probably in many of them.

The Need to Be Selective

For this reason, and perhaps more than ever before, 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.

An average person who develops the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but who gets very little done.

The Truth about Frogs

It has been said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.

The first rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.

This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.

Think of this as a test. Treat it like a personal challenge. Resist the temptation to start with the easier task. Continually remind yourself that one of the most important decisions you make each day is what you will do immediately and what you will do later, if you do it at all.

The second rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.

The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of “eating your frog” before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.

Take Action Immediately

In study after study of men and women who get paid more and promoted faster, the quality of “action orientation” stands out as the most observable and consistent behavior they demonstrate in everything they do. Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.

“Failure to execute” is one of the biggest problems in organizations today. Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. They talk continually, hold endless meetings, and make wonderful plans, but in the final analysis, no one does the job and gets the results required.

Develop the Habits of Success

Your success in life and work will be determined by the kinds of habits that you develop over time. The habit of setting priorities, overcoming procrastination, and getting on with your most important task is a mental and physical skill. As such, this habit is learnable through practice and repetition, over and over again, until it locks into your subconscious mind and becomes a permanent part of your behavior. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes both automatic and easy to do.

This habit of starting and completing important tasks has an immediate and continuous payoff. You are designed mentally and emotionally in such a way that task completion gives you a positive feeling. It makes you happy. It makes you feel like a winner.

Whenever you complete a task of any size or importance, you feel a surge of energy, enthusiasm, and self-esteem. The more important the completed task, the happier, more confident, and more powerful you feel about yourself and your world.

The completion of an important task triggers the release of endorphins in your brain. These endorphins give you a natural “high.” The endorphin rush that follows successful completion of any task makes you feel more positive, personable, creative, and confident.

Develop a Positive Addiction

Here is one of the most important of the so-called secrets of success. You can actually develop a “positive addiction” to endorphins and to the feeling of enhanced clarity, confidence, and competence that they trigger. When you develop this addiction, you will, at an unconscious level, begin to organize your life in such a way that you are continually starting and completing ever more important tasks and projects. You will actually become addicted, in a very positive sense, to success and contribution.

One of the keys to your living a wonderful life, having a successful career, and feeling terrific about yourself is to develop the habit of starting and finishing important jobs. When you do, this behavior will take on a power of its own and you’ll find it easier to complete important tasks than not to complete them.

No Shortcuts

You remember the story of the man who stops a musician on a street in New York and asks how he can get to Carnegie Hall. The musician replies, “Practice, man, practice.”

Practice is the key to mastering any skill. Fortunately, your mind is like a muscle. It grows stronger and more capable with use. With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit that you consider either desirable or necessary.

The Three Ds of New Habit Formation

You need three key qualities to develop the habits of focus and concentration, which are all learnable. They are decision, discipline, and determination.

First, make a decision to develop the habit of task completion. Second, discipline yourself to practice the principles you are about to learn over and over until they become automatic. And third, back everything you do with determination until the habit is locked in and becomes a permanent part of your personality.

Visualize Yourself as You Want to Be

There is a special way that you can accelerate your progress toward becoming the highly productive, effective, efficient person that you want to be. It consists of your thinking continually about the rewards and benefits of being an action-oriented, fast-moving, and focused person. See yourself as the kind of person who gets important jobs done quickly and well on a consistent basis.

Your mental picture of yourself has a powerful effect on your behavior. Visualize yourself as the person you in–tend to be in the future. Your self-image, the way you see yourself on the inside, largely determines your performance on the outside. All improvements in your outer life begin with improvements on the inside, in your mental pictures.

You have a virtually unlimited ability to learn and develop new skills, habits, and abilities. When you train yourself, through repetition and practice, to overcome procrastination and get your most important tasks completed quickly, you will move onto the fast track in your life and career and step on the accelerator of your potential.

Eat That Frog!

Eat That Frog!

1 Set the Table

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it.

NAPOLEON HILL

Before you can determine your “frog” and get on with the job of eating it, you have to decide exactly what you want to achieve in each area of your life. Clarity is perhaps the most important concept in personal productivity. The number one reason why some people get more work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives, and they don’t deviate from them. The greater clarity you have regarding what you want and the steps you will have to take to achieve it, the easier it will be for you to overcome procrastination, eat your frog, and complete the task before you.

A major reason for procrastination and lack of motivation is vagueness, confusion, and fuzzy-mindedness about what you are trying to do and in what order and for what reason. You must avoid this common condition with all your strength by striving for ever-greater clarity in your major goals and tasks.

Here is a great rule for success: Think on paper.

Only about 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplish five and ten times as much as people of equal or better education and ability but who, for whatever reason, have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want.

There is a powerful formula for setting and achieving goals that you can use for the rest of your life. It consists of seven simple steps. Any one of these steps can double and triple your productivity if you are not currently using it. Many of my graduates have increased their incomes dramatically in a matter of a few years, or even a few months, with this simple, seven-part method.

Step one: Decide exactly what you want. Either decide for yourself or sit down with your boss and discuss your goals and objectives until you are crystal clear about what is expected of you and in what order of priority. It is amazing how many people are working away, day after day, on low-value tasks because they have not had this critical discussion with their managers.

One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.

Stephen Covey says, “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

Step two: Write it down. Think on paper. When you write down a goal, you crystallize it and give it tangible form. You create something that you can touch and see. On the other hand, a goal or objective that is not in writing is merely a wish or a fantasy. It has no energy behind it. Unwritten goals lead to confusion, vagueness, misdirection, and numerous mistakes.

Step three: Set a deadline on your goal; set subdeadlines if necessary. A goal or decision without a deadline has no urgency. It has no real beginning or end. Without a definite deadline accompanied by the assignment or acceptance of specific responsibilities for completion, you will naturally procrastinate and get very little done.

Step four: Make a list of everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. As you think of new activities, add them to your list. Keep building your list until it is complete. A list gives you a visual picture of the larger task or objective. It gives you a track to run on. It dramatically increases the likelihood that you will achieve your goal as you have defined it and on schedule.

Step five: Organize the list into a plan. Organize your list by priority and sequence. List all tasks in the order they need to be done. Take a few minutes to decide what you need to do first and what you can do later. Decide what has to be done before something else and what needs to be done afterward.

Even better, lay out your plan visually in the form of a series of boxes and circles on a sheet of paper, with lines and arrows showing the relationship of each task to every other task. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to achieve your goal when you break it down into individual tasks.

With a written goal and an organized plan of action, you will be far more productive and efficient than people who are carrying their goals around in their minds.

Step six: Take action on your plan immediately. Do something. Do anything. An average plan vigorously executed is far better than a brilliant plan on which nothing is done. For you to achieve any kind of success, execution is everything.

Step seven: Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal. Build this activity into your daily schedule. You may decide to read a specific number of pages on a key subject. You may call on a specific number of prospects or customers. You may engage in a specific period of physical exercise. You may learn a certain number of new words in a foreign language. Whatever it is, you must never miss a day.

Keep pushing forward. Once you start moving, keep moving. Don’t stop. This decision, this discipline alone, can dramatically increase your speed of goal accomplishment and boost your personal productivity.

The Power of Written Goals

Clear written goals have a wonderful effect on your thinking. They motivate you and galvanize you into action. They stimulate your creativity, release your energy, and help you overcome procrastination as much as any other factor.

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement. The bigger your goals and the clearer they are, the more excited you become about achieving them. The more you think about your goals, the greater becomes your inner drive and your desire to accomplish them.

Think about your goals and review them daily. Every morning when you begin, take action on the most important task you can accomplish to achieve your most important goal at the moment.

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Endorsements

“BEWARE: This book will have a profound impact on your working practices and the results you'll achieve. Eat That Frog! challenges your working practices, it explains the self-discipline needed to succeed, and [it] firmly gets to the root cause of why people procrastinate. Then it effortlessly explains how to boost your productivity once and for all.”
—Micro Business Hub

“If you find procrastination to be a consistent problem in your life, Eat
That Frog! offers a concise and valuable collection of tactics to try. The reasons for each person's procrastination are different, so it's good that Tracy's tactics are fairly diverse and attack many different avenues of procrastination.”
—The Simple Dollar

“Eat That Frog! is my favourite book on productivity, and I often find myself rereading it in January to remind myself of the disciplines and practices I'd like to follow in the coming year. Each time I read the book, I find new nuggets of productivity gold.”
—Liz Gooster, Change for the Better

“Everyone has a frog, and eating that frog is the best thing you can do to stop procrastinating. Procrastination is a time-killer, and Tracy has a way of making getting over that frog fun and exciting. Every chapter presents a new idea, tip, and technique that will help you overcome that inner laziness that keeps you on the couch at night instead of in the gym.”
—Peanut Press

“Eat That Frog!, small in pages but huge in content, offers a cure for the curse of modern-day living: procrastination. Even though the medicine sounds painful (bush tucker trail kind of stuff), it isn't. Like you,
I have read zillions of books—and most of the time I can't remember anything that I have just read. Not with this one. I'm eating frogs daily and feeling better for it! I can't recommend Eat That Frog! enough.”
—Corinna Richards, The Coaching Academy

“This book gave me the kick in the pants I needed to organize my to do lists, plan my days, become more productive, and get focused.”
—Beth Anne Schwamberger, Brilliant Business Moms

“Eat That Frog! is the most accessible book on time management and personal productivity—I recommend you read this one before you learn any particular time management system. There are tons of exercises and techniques that you can implement right away, and that is what I like the most about the book—it gives you actionable steps so you can start right away.”
—Thanh Pham, Asian Effi ciency

“An impactful read. The 21 ways that [Tracy] shares are real game changers, if you read with an eye towards self-improvement and an intention to make a change. I have benefi ted greatly from this book, and I highly recommend that you pick up your own copy today.”
—Chris Moore, Reflect on This

“We strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to manage her time well and also add value to herself in this competitive world.”
—The Journal of Applied Christian Leadership

“I wasn't expecting all that much from the book initially, as the whole ‘eating a frog' seemed like some new age nonsense that didn't really apply in real life. I couldn't have been more wrong. The best thing about this book is that it actually tells you what you should do. It doesn't just spout philosophy after philosophy about dreams and hope. It gives solid, practical advice that applies to pretty much every one—students, employees, stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, etc. Whether you're having time management issues or not, I'd recommend you pick up this book. You're sure to learn something useful from it.”
—Fab, Shocks and Shoes

“This book distinguishes itself from others of the same type by laying out specific guidelines for developing the self-discipline that allows you to start and complete important tasks in sequence. Each of the 21 chapters offers clear instructions and practice exercises to help you determine if you are making the best use of your time at any given moment. You'll learn how to prepare yourself mentally and physically to tackle the task at hand, along with strategies for dividing it into manageable segments to keep you moving forward. You'll even find out what to tell yourself to do if you're having trouble getting started, or become distracted and need to get back on track.”
—Carnegie Library Business Librarians, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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