Review: Eat That Frog!

By Sanchita R.

If goals are a focal point for you or lack of motivation which pulls you back from achieving your dreams, I highly encourage you to peek at my review for Eat That Frog.

Brian Tracy has been the author of several bestselling productivity books that focus on time management, productivity, procrastination and other co-related issues. While Eat That Frog! appears to focus on the issue procrastination faced by productive people who despite great ideas fail to transform them into meaningful achievements.

Although the name sounds corny to certain extent, the concept of the book is simple, that “if you ate a live frog every morning that would be the hardest thing to all day.”

The book is fairly a short read divided into many short essays. However, although the author has dominated the theme of procrastination throughout the book, few chapters seem like bit of a drag repeating the same thing all over again or rehash of similar story with a predicted moral.

I have selected the six of the compelling points to discuss what can be said as key takeaways of the book:

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule also called the “Pareto Principle”, simply says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. For example, whatever content (80 percent) I produce is the 20 percent work I dedicated in finishing it.

The secret to avoid procrastination is to avoid focusing on accomplishments but instead focus on activities completed. This adds value to the task and gives a sense of satisfaction of completing it, pushing you gain more moves.

Use the ABCDE Method Continually

The “ABCDE method” is quite simple, it implies that most important tasks should be in done first as they are the tasks with highest priority. The author wants to the state that unimportant tasks can be outsourced or passed on to subordinates or lower rank often and you should devote your whole energy to priority tasks and given your full attention to the same without any glitch of the said work. The authors says if we just stick to task completions with the aim of getting it done, you’ve won the battle.

Upgrade Your Key Skills

Everything is learnable if you have the will. The minimum requirement for success in any field is continuous learning.

For example,

A friend of mine had the habit of not reading fat books, as they seemed like a huge work and a huge commitment in form of time. Just the thought of reading a massive manuscript kept him from reading the finest literature available. Until he decided to Eat the ugliest Frog; every morning he started with the reading for 30 minutes and gradually developed the habit of finishing any book within 5 days.

Thus, taking small steps at a time, he could upgrade his skills of reading and the achievements resulted in less procrastination.

The Technological Time Bomb

It is beyond doubt that we are a generation addicted to technology. Facebook notifications, messages, web browsers, tweets are all giant technological time sinks. Information available just at a click or touch is so incredible, but boom… as you see the constant updates coming on your devices, the concentration breaks easily.

The solution to this problem is simple given you practice self-control. Turn off all the notifications when you’re working, even avoid the slightest temptation to peek a boo given how badly you might want to check the social media. Deny yourself the ability to use these services and stop not until your work is finished.

Slice and Dice the Task

The bigger the task is the longer one tries to put it off. However, this leads to an unending cycle of procrastination. Instead of viewing the task as a monumental one which will take insurmountable amount of time to complete, break down the task into smaller chunks until each piece looks manageable and achievable.

This should be you’re approach to any task you do. If you are putting off any work just as it seems overwhelming, spend some time into breaking that task and the work becomes less complex and more comfortable to do.

Single handle Every Task

One key to avoid procrastination, particularly in case of smaller tasks is to single-handedly work on them. That means as soon as you get the project, just finish it without any external hurdles of distractions. Division of a project’s time is a self-invitation to procrastination.

One of the procrastination technique I followed in college was to do half of my economics homework and then put off the later a day before submission. And then I would scramble all the calculations somehow just before submitting the assignment as I had broken my link of completing the work in one go.

Is Eat That Frog! worth reading?

If you find procrastination as one of the biggest problem in your life, Eat That Frog offers some valuable tactics and guidance to get you out of the rut. Since everyone’s level of procrastination is different, Tracy’s way of handling them is fairly diverse and attacks multiple range of procrastination.

As with any self-help motivational books like this, the value of the book directly relates the amount of practice you put into it. If you just read it and toss it aside without applying any takeaways, you might as well read a page turning novel.

However, if you are thoroughly committed to cut off the habit of procrastination in your life, Eat That Frog! offers much needed push and motivation to achieve that.