Eat the toad - Rethink Central

Eat the toad

by | Sep 3, 2013 | Goals, Prioritising, Time Management

“The saying is actually: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.””
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Sounds like a disgusting dish you’d find on one of those wild and wonderful travel shows.

But, in reality, it’s a terrific way to prioritize your workload.

The saying is actually: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” We can thank Mark Twain for this delightfully disgusting saying – and all the procrastinating time it’s saved the people who use it.

We prefer “eat the toad” to eat the frog (after all, there are many people who enjoy tucking into a plate of frog legs at their nearest French restaurant); but no matter which swamp dweller you prefer, the lesson remains the same: get the unpleasant bits out of the way first.

If you think about it, eating the toad first is a fabulous way to prioritise your day. Most people tend to put off all the soul-draining tasks until the last minute – or at least the end of the day. And there of course the task crouches all day, dispiriting you by not being done.

Instead, imagine if you slay those pesky challenges first thing. Then, you can end on a high note and enjoy spending time with your friends and family.

Here’s a nifty way to eat the toad: do it EVERY day.

We all have at least one nasty lurking toad crouching on our to do lists. Often they’ve been there a while, as we know they’ll be hard to do, or take up a lot of time, or require more input from other people.

But they don’t get done, and they hang about like a bad smell, just being moved from day to day… but once you’ve taken action and got stuck into it first thing, you will be amazed at how wonderful you feel. And the end of your work day will be far more pleasant than the beginning.

Plus, when you add that “I don’t want to do it” task to the top of your to do list for today, rather than avoiding it; you’ll find yourself wanting to eat it first thing in the morning. No, really.

Take Action!

• When you sit down tomorrow morning to prioritise your to do list, choose to do the ‘toad’ first. Stop avoiding it, and get on with getting it out of the way.

• Go through your list for the rest of the week and ear mark a toad for each day. Get them done and off your list and you will be sailing along before you know it.

• Remember the toads on your list are probably some of the most important things you have to do – so eat the toad as soon as possible!

• And, if your toad leaves an aftertaste, remember you can always chase it with a slice of cake. Hop over to Not Got Much In and get a slice of our Cake! Book as a free extract to download.


This post is part of Prioritising Month on the Rethink Retreats blog. Check out some of these other time management and goal setting post here:

Prioritising Sex
The Zen of Saying No
Make goals – change the world

We’ve all left unpleasant tasks until the last minute. Please share your tales of toads below. Don’t worry about being the first to respond; that can be your toad today.


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