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Set Your Priorities by “Eating a Frog”

Set Your Priorities by “Eating a Frog”

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” This quote, often attributed to Mark Twain (though its origins aren’t clear), is all about prioritizing.

Set priorities and reap your rewards

The “eat a frog” philosophy of prioritizing your daily tasks is a pretty simple one. When looking at your tasks each day, you need to determine two things: whether a task needs to be done, and whether you want to do it. Your “frogs” are those tasks that need to be done - but that you don’t want to do.

It’s tempting to start your day with something you enjoy doing - something you feel gets your day started on the right note. The problem with this approach is it leaves the distasteful tasks until later in the day when you may feel rushed or tired. Worse, procrastinating on these tasks may lead to them being unfinished. So “eating your frog” first in your day ensures that those things you’re required to do get done - and on time.

The other benefit to getting the undesirable tasks out of the way is that it creates a “reward system.” If you know you get to work on things you enjoy once you get the unpleasant project out of the way, you have something to look forward to.

Make “eating the frog” a habit

We all have tasks we don’t enjoy - whether they’re chores around the house or responsibilities at work. Unfortunately, these tasks need to be completed whether we enjoy them or not. By getting the ugly work out of the way, you can look forward to doing the things you enjoy later on.

If you make it a habit to “eat a frog” first thing each day, you’ll find that your “to-do” list will no longer contain items that get carried over day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month. You will accomplish more, and find more time to do the things you enjoy.

Jan 06, 2015
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There are 1 comments for this entry. Leave a comment below »


Good advice, unless everything on your to do list is a frog.

William Levins
Jan 24, 2015


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