EAT THAT FROG! Day 5 of 40 DAYS OF GROWTH
From Friday 19th January, everyday for 40 days, I will be sharing something each day that has either (1) changed my way of thinking or perspective, (2) helped me get through a challenging period of transition, change or growth, or (3) changed my life for the better. I've called it '40 Days of Growth'. I'd love it if you followed along with me on this journey - contributing what has also helped you to learn, grow and change. And, if I can support you on your own learning journey, please do let me know :)
Day 5 of 40 DAYS OF GROWTH
EAT THAT FROG!
Spoiler alert: this concept is not actually about eating live frogs, or frogs at all for that matter.
What on earth do you mean by 'EAT THAT FROG!'????!
Okay, let me explain what this idea is and why it's worth knowing about. I've heard this idea talked about on numerous leadership development programmes, the Pop-Up Business School and on the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards programme (I'll be heading out later today to help setup the 2018 programme which starts tomorrow, hence being inspired to cover this idea!!)
Mark Twain once said 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 worse things 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's a way of thinking about your most challenging task. Imagine that your manager comes up to you first thing on Monday morning and puts a frog on your desk. He says "I want you to eat this frog by the end of the day. The frog will not move". Imagine: you don't want to do the task your manager has set you. That frog sits on your desk, beady eyes looking at you, occasionally flicking out its tongue to catch flies which really distracts you from the other tasks you are doing, and it somehow seems to be getting stinkier as the hours pass! Now, imagine that you 'ate that frog' as soon as it was put on your desk. Imagine the sense of achievement you would get from doing that horribly challenging task first thing in the morning. Does the idea make sense and does it make sense why it's such a powerful idea?
What 'Eat that Frog' looks like on different days
It's important to keep in mind that 'Eat that Frog' will be different for different people and will depend on their state during that day. I balance this idea with healthy doses of self-compassion. For example, on bad days when my energy is not great my 'frog' is sometimes as small as doing a little exercise, showering (and then crawling back into bed to rest). On other days when 'powerhouse Jen' is in the driver's seat (this version of me can get an incredible amount of things done!) the 'frog' could be focusing solidly for a few hours on a particularly tricky piece of work or a bit of life admin, such as doing my accounts. Ugh.
Questions for you
What is your 'frog' for today? And tomorrow? Can you implement this concept into your day-to-day life? And, if you do, I'd love to hear how it works for you :)