We’ve all heard the saying “EAT THE FROG!” It speaks to the idea that you should work to accomplish the biggest task first, even if you don’t have the motivation to do it. It makes sense. If you get the worst task out of the way, you will experience “the best of the day for the rest of the day.” Eat the frog, beat the frog. Although I completely agree with the rationale, I must caution you not to forget about the insects!

Insects are just as annoying as frogs, but a lot smaller. They are those menial tasks that take little or no effort to get done. Insects are low on our priority or preference list. Some of us will even eat more frogs to avoid eating insects. Why does something that takes so little time, take so much willpower to accomplish? While I may not be able to answer that question, I do have the resolution.

Make yourself eat insects! Don’t take too long to do it. Don’t keep pushing it back. You can keep insects low on the priority list, but they should always be attached to a deadline. There are two reasons you may be avoiding the insects on your to-do list:

Your Insects are Their Frogs

What seems difficult to others, may come easy to you. There will often be situations where your talents soar, but your counterparts struggle. As a result, you may use their expectations of timeline and deadline instead of your own. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s always better to under promise and over deliver. Just be sure to not push tasks back to the point where you are rushing to meet the deadline of completion and/or compromising the quality of your work.

Your Perception Directs Your Efforts

There are so many tasks that we perform based on what we perceive as valuable. We love corporate pleasantries: meetings, sales calls, presentations, networking, business lunches and conferences. The problem is the unpleasant: the emails, follow up phone calls, setting the agendas, creating the presentation, etc. But beware! You never know when the extra email or follow up phone call will result in a new opportunity.

Insects are insects for a reason. Like it or not. They have to be dealt with. While smaller than frogs, they become a major nuisance once they pile up. Do whatever it takes. If you have the charisma or influence, persuade or delegate the insects to others. The secret to getting ahead is getting started.