This is a summary of the ideas in the preface and introduction of Brian Tracy’s personal productivity book ‘Eat that Frog’.

The Situation

  • There isn’t enough time to do all the things you need to do, you’ll never get caught up on everything, and there is always more to do than you have time to do it in.
  • The solution is to stop doing certain things so that you have time to do things that really matter.
  • However, this behaviour will only become a habit if you practice it consistently.
  • Ask successful people how they do it and then do the same things until you get the same results.

The Plan

  • The key to success is to identify your most important task, take action, and persist until the task is complete.
  • It’s critical to be able to choose the best things to do from all the things that you can do.
  • Pick your most important task at any moment, start the task, and do it well and quickly.

The Frog

  • The book’s central metaphor is that if you have to eat a live frog each day, it’s probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you that day.
  • Your ‘frog’ is your most important task with the greatest positive impact.
  • If you have to eat two frogs, you should eat the uglier one first – i.e. do the more difficult of two important tasks first.
  • Your most important choice each day is what you will do first, what you will do later, and what you won’t do at all.
  • There is no point spending time looking at a frog if all you have to do is eat it. You are better off starting to eat it as soon as possible.

The Eating

  • Tackle your most important task first thing every morning.
  • Strive to be action orientated so that you don’t fail to execute anything.
  • Marshall your mental and physical skills to set priorities, overcome procrastination, and get your most important tasks done.
  • Completing tasks gives you a positive feeling equal to the importance of the task you complete.

The Skills

  • Practice is critical to master any skill, including personal productivity.
  • The skills you must develop for focus and concentration are:
    • Decisiveness
    • Discipline
    • Determination
  • Power of positive thinking: think continually about the rewards and benefits of being an action orientated, fast-moving, and focused person.
  • Your mental picture of yourself has a large impact on your behaviour.

The Habit

    • Develop the habit of tackling your ‘frog’ every day when you start work.
    • You can learn this behaviour by repeating the task daily.
    • Practice this system every day until its second nature to you.