Improving Productivity 2 - Eating the Frog

Table of Contents

So after the debacle of trying to find accurate sources for part 1, this is another habit to help improve your productivity.

“Eat The Frog” Principle 🐸

The “eat the frog” principle is a simple (if slightly disturbingly named) method of improving productivity. If you’re stuck on where to start with a large amount of work, try it out and see how it goes. It works like this:

  1. Decide which task is the most irritating/difficult/annoying/other negative adjective here (this is your frog)
  2. “Eat” the “frog” by doing that task first. Then find your new frog (i.e. the second worst task), and eat that one, and so on until all of your tasks are done.
  3. Repeat the process consciously on a regular basis, preferably daily. If you start off with just doing it with your homework, for example, you’ll quickly find that it leads to instinctively using the method in other parts of life.

The eat the frog principle takes advantage of the fact that not all tasks are created equal. This is the major flaw with to-do lists: everything is the same size, and therefore the biggest task, when finished, feels like less accomplishment than the smallest. However, as students, we tend to have a more instinctive grasp that “this teacher assigns more work” or “this textbook has longer exercises” after a few weeks of high school, so knowing that certain subjects or topics are out of the way makes it easier to focus when doing other work, rather than having the looming dread of math “exercise 14A, question 1, 2, and 3 parts a to z” (just kidding, math teachers would never use an Oxford comma). Anyways, that’s Eat the Frog :)


Part 3 is gonna be shorter, I promise.

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