Book Review: Eat That Frog- Get More Done In Less Time

Eat that frogMy Favorite Excerpt

It has been said for many years that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
Your "frog" is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.
It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.

A quick browse through of Eat That Frog

Chapter 1: Set the table really focuses on one main thing: Clarity. The author highlights that a major reason for procrastination and lack of motivation is vagueness, confusion and fuzzy mindedness about what it is you are supposed to do, and in what order and for what reason.

Chapter 2: Plan every day in advance If you are someone who tends to think that time spent on planning is a waste of time, then this chapter is definitely for you.

Chapter 3: Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything Describes the Pareto Principle: Twenty percent of your activities will account for eighty percent of your results.

Chapter 4: Consider the consequences Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. This chapter encourages you to focus on these above all else.

Chapter 5: Practice the ABCDE Method continually Is about prioritizing and making sure that you are working on your most important activities.

Chapter 6: Focus on key result areas Helps you identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to do your job well.

Chapter 7: The Law of Forced Efficiency If you examine your life you’ll realize that there is never enough time to do everything but there is always enough time to do the most important things. This chapter takes a look at what these important tasks.

Chapter 8: Prepare thoroughly before you begin Highlights that proper prior preparation prevents poor performance.

Chapter 9: Do your homework I am sure you will agree that the more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done.

Chapter 10: Leverage your special talents Takes a deeper look at what you are good at. Or rather what you could be very good at.

Chapter 11: Identify your key constraints Examines the bottlenecks or choke points, internally or externally, that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals.

Chapter 12: Take it one oil barrel at a time Gives the message that you can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time.

Chapter 13: Put the pressure on yourself Describes how you can push yourself beyond your boundaries.

Chapter 14: Maximize your personal powers Helps you identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day. It also iterated how you can structure your most important and demanding tasks around these times.

Chapter 15: Motivate yourself into action Is more about having a positive attitude and being optimistic .

Chapter 16: Practice creative procrastination At some point you must deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value so that you have enough time to do the few things that really count.

Chapter 17: Do the most difficult task first Urges you to begin each day with your most difficult task.

Chapter 18: Slice and dice the task Is about breaking large, complex tasks down into bite sized pieces and then just doing one small part of the task to get started.

Chapter 19: Create large chunks of time Guides you on how to organize your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods.

Chapter 20: Develop a sense of urgency Gives details of how you can become known as a person who does things quickly and well.

Chapter 21: Single handle every task Final dose of advice! “start immediately on your most important task and then work without stopping until the job is 100% complete”

Overall

  • This book does not
    1. Dwell on the various psychological or emotional explanations for procrastination.
    2. Cover methods for poor time management
  • .
  • You are unlikely to find any of the 21 concepts to be brand new. However, these are practical and left me with an "I can do this" vibe.

  • What you will learn are specific actions you can take immediately to get better, faster results in your work. I can recommend this book to anyone caught in the swamp of procrastination. However, if you think you're a very efficient person already, this book may not do much for you.

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3 comments:

Martin Wildam said...

> It has been said for many years
> that if the first thing you do
> each morning is to eat a live
> frog, you can go through the day
> with the satisfaction of knowing
> that that is probably the worst
> thing that is going to happen to
> you all day long.

This reminds me to Murphy's laws, e.g. in particular to
"If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop".
http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-laws.html

Or in other words: If I already ate a live frog it is most likely that either worse happens during the day.

However, I do agree, that unpleasant things should be solved rather than procrastinated. Anyway my experience is that my day is often full of live frogs.

Hence I also developed strategies to NOT eat the frog ;-) : http://1-2-solved.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-not-to-eat-frog.html

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Molly said...

I've heard many good things about this book and have been contemplating buying the large print edition to share with friends who have difficulty reading standard print size (it's available at http://www.readhowyouwant.com/pcsWebUI/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=13231, if anyone else is interested). This is a really great breakdown of the concepts covered in the book, and I appreciate it. Thanks much.

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