Eat the Frog…. an unusual time management tip

Eat a live frog every morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day….Mark Twain

I found this printed on a daily planner in a shop last week.  I had a giggle and wandered off.procrastination

The next morning I sat staring at my intray, full of bills to pay, notices to read and filing, yep yucky boring filing.  I glanced over at my camera, my pretty ideas notepad and my coloured pens.   You know what I was thinking……that intray can wait and wait it did.

It waited and waited, I had a quick flick through to see if anything was desperately urgent….no

My frog did not get eaten, instead it hopped around, distracting me, nagging me leaving me uneasy the rest of the day.

I am not a huge procrastinator, most of the time I am the opposite.  Many years ago, way before children even, I discovered a way to double even triple my effectiveness.  I avoid double handling by actioning things as I see them.  My DO IT NOW approach.

Even those with the best discipline fall into the procrastination trap occasionally.   Notices and mail are my downfall.  Once I shove a few of those pesky papers into the in tray, it grows easily.    Then it becomes a large and overwhelming task.  It becomes my frog.

Over the weekend I checked in with Miss 8’s homework progress.  She had done all the fun stuff and was avoiding her spelling words.  It’s just not fun she told me.

Then I said it, “You need to eat the frog first darling”.

“I NEED TO DO WHAT!” she exclaimed.

I said it again very slowly and precisely.  “Eat the frog first.”

“Seriously Mum do what?”

I casually explained that the frog is the last thing you want to do and the first thing you should do.   I went back to the shop, Kikki.K, and bought the notepad and we have decided to share it.

I sat at my desk on Monday and I grabbed that frog and gobbled it up.  Clean in tray, filing up to date and bills paid, notices actioned.   My mood immediately lifted and remained high the rest of the day.  No unpleasant unfinished tasks waiting to be completed, dragging me down.

l then headed off to check in with my new yoga guru.   When I came home my afternoon’s work was all fun and creativity.  I enjoyed it more this time, the frog was gone and with it went my guilt.

Do you procrastinate?  What is your frog?

Leave your comments below and share this post on your favourite social media platform and I will choose the most needy and creative “frog’ to receive the Kikki.K day planner.

Entries close Monday 9th September.

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  1. Kelly says

    What isn’t my frog at the moment!!? In tray (like you), laundry, unfinished doors and windows, rubbish from construction, camp permission slips, cooking dinner…cleaning up from dinner….The state of overwhelm becomes the state of existing in numbness! So instead, I had a coffee with a friend, planned a trip to Costco with a friend for next week, and have the cleaning lady coming tomorrow. I think I’ll thaw out by Saturday and breath. (Fingers crossed)!

  2. says

    I love that quote and story! My frog is definitely returning emails which is terrible. I LOVE getting emails, but then replying is takes a lot of time and effort. I need to keep it short but cover enough information and make sure I proofread everything twice! :p

  3. says

    I do procrastinate and it mostly involves home fixup stuff (a/c checkup, carpet cleaning, etc.). Things that I can get done and see the results immediately (like laundry or organizing) I have no problem with. But I totally agree with just getting the stuff done – you do feel better and then your brain isn’t thinking back on it every few hours.

  4. says

    My frog is definitely housecleaning. If I’d just set my mind to it and get it done, I could maintain better. But, instead I do a little here, a little there, just to get by. I’m more distracted by e-mail, bills, my pets, jigsaw puzzles, writing blogs, and reading. By the way, I love frogs. I collect them in all forms. I have them in and outside of my house. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day!

  5. says

    Love this, Karen! Wise words by Mr. Twain put into action by wise mama Karen! I just heard a piece on the Today show yesterday with the tip, “Remember OHIO – Only Handle It Once. Of course, if it is a frog I really DO only want to handle it once! Great post!

  6. says

    Karen! This is a terrific post and question. Doing the fun or easy stuff first and avoiding the frog (or hardest, least desirable task on my list)? I have a knot (pod?) of them. Not just one. With chores, it’s folding laundry or shopping. With office tasks, it’s filing. With writing, it’s sitting STILL long enough for any gold to trail out my fingers.

  7. says

    What a great reminder. I am sure I heard this a long time ago but seem to have forgotten because I have been letting the items on my to do list cause dread all day long. My frog varies each day so I want to start identifying it and go for it.

  8. says

    Love it. I may have to print that one for the office and for the girls planners because it’s SO true. And you get so much more done in the day because you’re not subconsciously avoiding getting TO the frog!

  9. says

    Well I have to say you sucked me with the whole frog thing! I have a large family and there is always something dramatic going on and I get sucked in and use at as excuse not to do what I need to do

  10. says

    I’m visiting from the SITS girls tribe challenge. I love this time management tip! I actually read a book about eating a frog a couple of years ago, but I need to back into this practice! Thanks for the reminder!

  11. says

    So glad I wandered across this post. I’m re-starting my blog now that I’ve added two girls to my grandchildren list. AND a new business is in the works that will rely on social media to succeed. Thanks again for the info.

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