Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

Eat the Frog May 3, 2011

I don’t know who coined this graphic phrase, but it’s pure genius in its simplicity & impact.  Here’s the concept:  Get the stuff that energetically drains you done first.  More on that below. 

If you are doing a great job planning your work to get maximum results & joy, you start each day with a clear understanding of what’s at hand.   Everyone has their own methodology of allocating their work to their day, but here is what I have found to be universally true:

1) Every person has a peak time for creative work & separately, intense focus.  And everyone has a time when their brain should be donated to science to study the similarities between it and a rock.  Sluggish & virtually vacant.  Most people hit that in the afternoon, jack it up with some caffeine to change the pattern, and move on.  But not everyone.   The super elite’s rule: Know Thyself.  If you are off the hook focused early morning, DO NOT respond to emails and book travel arrangements for your next trade show during that time.   Save that for your rock brain period.  Schedule your work to capitalize on the ebb and flow of your mind. 

2) Research shows that mind works in 90 minute bursts before diminishing return settles in.  You may believe this doesn’t apply because you & Einstein share a lineage, but just in case, schedule breaks.  I personally am a big fan of physically moving.  Jumping, taking a brisk walk, doing a little joy dance (idea credited to Dr. Christiane Northrup)… whatever stimulates your body and resets your mind for your next window of achieving big results.

3) Eat the Frog.  Eat the frog basically means:  if there is something you dread and it is draining your energy, do it early & cross it off.  Disclaimer:  I am not a proponent of doing the tasks that you dislike first.   I hold those for rock brain periods as they typically are more mundane and require less brain power.  I’m talking about the tasks that drain your energy, worry you, or create heat in your face.  These are the FROG.  Eat them first.  Otherwise, your mind will dwell on them all day, severely impacting the quality of your results to the negative.  One more caveat on the frog.  These are often BIG growth opportunities as tasks /conversations that worry us indicate we are in a negative mind state.  These are fantastic opportunities to practice changing our state to win/win & maintaining a mindset of optimism and compassion. 

4) Leverage the mundane.  Use resources at your disposal.  Get creative about how to engage people in your work.  THis gives them a chance to use their strengths & feel great about helping others and creating success.  Plus, it gives you a chance to mitigate your weaknesses; which regardless of how hard you try, you can only ever be average at.  One Rule:  Think twice about leveraging the frog.  Remember, these are growth opportunities and typically involve other people.  These are almost always conversations and decisions we are intended to own.

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One Response to “Eat the Frog”

  1. Lucy Says:

    So…if it’s a BIG frog…we can eat it one leg at a time, right? GREAT post. Love the “sluggish and virtually vacant” comment. My “show time” is the a.m. for sure. Afternoon…not so much. Will rethink my lineup.


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