Swallow a Frog

Swallow a Frog
I’ve heard this advice in many different ways.

Do the hardest thing first.

Or maybe something like this,

Pick one or two (maybe even three) things that are essential to you and focus on making them happen. Let everything else be up for discussion.

But this was a new one to me.

Swallow a frog every day.

The idea behind it is simple. The hardest thing to do (maybe that you’re avoiding) will continue to hang over your head and distract you throughout the day. By getting the hard, annoying thing done early in the day you are much more freed up mentally and emotionally to tackle other projects. Plus I think it gives you an early feeling of accomplishment that is bound to carry over into the rest of your work.

I first heard this from Pam Slim, and she got it from Charlie Gilkey, who took it from Mark Twain:

If you know you have to swallow a frog, swallow it first thing in the morning. If there are two frogs, swallow the big one first.

– Mark Twain

Another version puts it like this:

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

– Mark Twain

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