Eat A Frog For Breakfast
Written By: Ibby Smith Stofer
Does that sound disgusting and a little over the top?
I think it will surprise you who supposedly authored that suggestion and what it refers to.
Let’s pause and look at some background on this unappetizing suggestion. If you are from the Deep South, please forgive that comment. But being a Northern bred gal, it brings a disgusting vision to my mind. I probably would not eat alligator or snake either, no matter what time of day!
What comes to your mind as you picture just the frog?
- Perhaps a lone frog on a lily pad?
- Maybe a fast-moving, slimy creature who can easily escape?
- One who can swim in the water, survive on land, or even in trees?
What comes to mind when you think of your breakfast rituals?
- Coffee, tea, or other warming beverages?
- Cereal, toast, and fruit?
- A long leisurely discussion with others to start your day?>
- Watching the news on TV, the internet, or reading the newspaper?
Whatever vision you have, it probably does not conjure up eating a frog for breakfast, but perhaps the metaphor should be one we adopt.
This piece of advice is attributed to none other than Mark Twain. You know, the guy who wrote about Huck Finn and the short story about the jumping frog of Calaveras County. It included this rationale for eating a frog for breakfast:
“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.”
His infamous quote is a daily guide to overcome one thing that plagues most of us from time to time.
The frog is the thing that we need to complete but perhaps don’t know how to, think we cannot do it, or just don’t want to do it! Twain added that if you eat the frog for breakfast, it may be the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day.
Many motivational speakers and presenters often use these words of wisdom to illustrate the value of tackling our most daunting, difficult, and dreaded tasks first without spending a great deal of time staring at the frog.
What are some frogs that are staring at you today?
Procrastination is the robber of time. There are only 60 seconds in each minute, 60 minutes in each hour, and 24 hours in each day. If we put off until later the biggest frog, we may find him nibbling at our thoughts throughout the day until we actually sit down and munch away at it. Wouldn’t it feel great to know we did it, and it can no longer quietly nag us?
Procrastination is like the tides of the ocean; it comes in and goes out. Rarely are we constantly able to take action on everything we need to or want to do. However, avoiding the most important tasks can destroy not only productivity of the individual but also affect others’ assessment of your accountability, reliability, and responsiveness. Bosses, coworkers, customers, or clients may lose faith and trust in us. It also can be detrimental to accomplishing company or team initiatives and goals. Your family and friends can also be victims of your procrastination.
It is important to clarify expectations and to help each other identify the frogs and develop the habit that Mark Twain suggested – eat the ugliest frog first thing. If you do it in small bites, the feelings of accomplishment may inspire you to take on the next frog until the pond of frogs shrinks to a puddle.
If you have difficulty with the thought of eating a frog each morning, there are apps that you can use to aid in eliminating distractions and fighting the urge to put off or postpone challenges and increase your self-discipline. Just search for anti-procrastination apps.
As we all can list many reasons we procrastinate, remember that some frogs are among the deadliest animals on earth, and our desire to succeed means we must overcome our dread of eating the frogs! NO more PROCRASTINATION! Jump on your most daunting frog first thing! Bon appétit!