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The key points of 'Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time By Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy's 'Eat That Frog!' is a compelling guide that offers practical wisdom on overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity. In this book, Tracy distills the essence of time management into 21 actionable strategies that promise to help readers achieve more in less time. The title 'Eat That Frog!' is a metaphor for tackling the most challenging and important task first thing each day. The book is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to make significant improvements in their personal and professional lives by mastering the art of prioritization and effective action.

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize tasks by importance and tackle the most significant ones first, as suggested by the 'Eat That Frog' principle.

  • Embrace the 80/20 Rule by focusing on the 20% of activities that contribute to 80% of your results.

  • Implement the ABCDE method to categorize tasks and manage your workload efficiently.

  • Cultivate a sense of urgency and focus on key result areas to boost productivity and achieve goals faster.

  • Learn to single-handle tasks by giving them your undivided attention until completion, avoiding multitasking.

1. Set the Table

Setting clear goals is the foundation of any effective action plan. Before you can tackle your tasks, you need to know exactly what you're aiming to achieve. Start by defining your objectives and what success looks like for you.

  • Write down your goals.

  • Establish priorities.

  • Determine the necessary steps to reach your objectives.

2. Plan Every Day in Advance

Planning every day in advance is a cornerstone habit for peak productivity. By taking the time to plan your day the night before, you set clear expectations for what needs to be accomplished. This simple act can significantly increase your chances of achieving your goals.

Prioritization is key when planning your day. Start by listing the tasks you need to complete and then rank them based on importance and urgency. Here's a basic structure you can follow:

  • Identify your top three tasks for the day

  • Allocate specific time blocks for each task

  • Include buffer times for unexpected interruptions

By adhering to a daily plan, you embrace the productivity techniques advocated in 'Eat That Frog!' by Brian Tracy. Not only does this method help stop procrastination, but it also ensures that you're always working on what's most important.

3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything

The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, suggests that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Identifying the tasks that yield the most significant outcomes is crucial for enhancing productivity and efficiency.

  • Prioritize tasks that have the greatest impact.

  • Delegate or minimize time spent on less productive activities.

  • Regularly reassess your activities to ensure alignment with your goals.

4. Consider the Consequences

Understanding the potential outcomes of your actions is crucial in prioritizing tasks. Consider the long-term consequences of doing, or not doing, a task. This perspective helps you to recognize the significance of your most impactful tasks.

Long-term thinking is key to effective decision-making. By evaluating the potential future benefits or drawbacks, you can better decide which tasks deserve your immediate attention and which can be deferred.

  • Immediate consequences

  • Short-term consequences

  • Long-term consequences

5. Practice Creative Procrastination

Not all tasks are created equal, and creative procrastination is about strategically delaying work on less critical tasks. Prioritize your activities based on their importance and impact on your goals. By doing so, you can focus on what truly matters and push less significant tasks to the bottom of your to-do list.

  • Identify tasks that contribute the least to your goals

  • Defer or delegate these low-impact activities

  • Concentrate on high-value tasks that drive you towards success

Remember, it's not about being busy, but being busy with the right things. Integrate passion with profession for fulfillment and success, and visualize your goals to create your own reality through actions and beliefs.

6. Use the ABCDE Method Continually

The ABCDE method is a powerful priority setting technique that can significantly enhance your productivity. Prioritize tasks by assigning them a letter based on their importance and urgency.

  • A tasks are crucial; they must be done or there will be serious consequences.

  • B tasks are important but not as critical as A tasks; there are mild consequences if they are not completed.

  • C tasks are nice to do but have no consequences if left undone.

  • D tasks should be delegated to others.

  • E tasks should be eliminated whenever possible, as they provide the least value.

7. Focus on Key Result Areas

Identifying your Key Result Areas (KRAs) is crucial to enhancing productivity and ensuring that your efforts align with your most impactful goals. Focus on the areas where you can make the greatest difference and prioritize tasks that contribute to these areas.

Effectiveness in your KRAs is often more important than efficiency. It's not just about doing things right, but doing the right things. To help clarify your KRAs, consider the following:

  • What are the most valuable tasks you do?

  • Which tasks have the greatest impact on your career or personal life?

  • What can only you do that if done well will make a real difference?

8. Apply the Law of Three

In 'Eat That Frog!', Brian Tracy emphasizes the Law of Three as a strategy for productivity. This principle suggests that there are three core tasks you do that contribute more to your success than all the others combined. Identifying and focusing on these tasks can lead to more efficient time management and better results.

Focus on the three tasks that have the greatest impact on your performance. By doing so, you ensure that your efforts are not diluted and that you make significant progress in your work.

  • Determine your top three tasks

  • Allocate more time and resources to these tasks

  • Minimize or delegate other less critical tasks

9. Prepare Thoroughly Before You Begin

Thorough preparation is a cornerstone of productivity. Before diving into a task, take the time to gather all necessary materials and information. This ensures that once you start, you can proceed without unnecessary interruptions.

Preparation can be broken down into a few key steps:

  • Define the task's objectives clearly.

  • Identify the resources and information required.

  • Organize your workspace to minimize distractions.

Remember, the goal is to overcome the initial resistance and inertia that often accompanies the start of a new task. By focusing on learning and setting achievable goals, you can celebrate progress and persist through setbacks. Apply deliberate practice and feedback for effective learning and improvement.

10. Take It One Oil Barrel at a Time

When faced with a large and potentially overwhelming project, the key is to break it down into manageable segments. Tackle each segment one at a time, much like how an explorer would navigate a vast desert by aiming for one oil barrel to the next as their waypoints. This approach not only simplifies the task but also provides a series of small victories that keep motivation high.

Prioritization is crucial in this method. Determine which segments of your project are the most critical and start with those. Here's a simple way to organize your tasks:

  • Identify the overall goal of the project.

  • Break the goal down into smaller, actionable tasks.

  • Assign a priority level to each task.

  • Focus on completing the highest priority tasks first.

11. Upgrade Your Key Skills

In the journey of personal and professional development, upgrading your key skills is essential. As the landscape of business and technology evolves, so must our abilities to stay competitive and effective. TheBookSearcher website is a valuable resource for those looking to enhance their knowledge base; it offers business books categorized by author, category, and ranking, including features such as author score and top books in business and investing skills.

Continuous learning is not just about keeping up with the latest trends; it's about deepening your expertise in your chosen field. To get started, consider the following steps:

  • Identify the skills most relevant to your career advancement.

  • Seek out resources, such as books, courses, or mentors, to help you learn.

  • Set aside regular time in your schedule for skill development.

  • Apply new knowledge in practical ways to solidify your learning.

12. Leverage Your Special Talents

Everyone has unique talents and strengths that can be harnessed to increase productivity and achieve success. Identifying and leveraging your special talents is crucial in making significant progress in your personal and professional life.

Focus on your strengths and delegate or outsource tasks that do not align with your innate abilities. This not only improves efficiency but also ensures that you are engaged and fulfilled by your work.

Here are some steps to help you leverage your talents:

  • Reflect on past successes to identify your strengths.

  • Seek feedback from peers and mentors.

  • Align your tasks with your identified talents.

  • Set goals that are tailored to your unique skill set.

  • Continuously develop and refine your talents through learning and practice.

13. Identify Your Key Constraints

Every goal we set is often met with obstacles that can impede progress. Identifying your key constraints is crucial to overcoming these barriers and achieving success. These constraints can be internal, such as a lack of certain skills, or external, like resource limitations.

Constraints dictate the pace at which you can move towards your objectives. By recognizing and addressing them, you can devise strategies to mitigate their impact. For instance:

  • Assess the skills you need to improve

  • Find ways to acquire necessary resources

  • Reorganize your priorities to focus on high-impact activities

Embrace change, self-care, and resilience for personal growth. These are the soft factors that often determine how quickly you can move past your constraints and on to your goals.

14. Put the Pressure on Yourself

One of the core principles in 'Eat That Frog' is the idea that self-imposed pressure can be a powerful motivator. Set your own deadlines and stick to them as if they were set by someone else. This approach helps you to maintain a sense of urgency and keeps you moving forward.

To effectively put pressure on yourself, consider these steps:

  • Establish clear, ambitious goals.

  • Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable parts.

  • Set specific deadlines for each part.

  • Monitor your progress and adjust your plans as necessary.

Remember, the key to success is not just hard work, but also working smart by prioritizing tasks that yield the greatest impact.

15. Maximize Your Personal Powers

To truly excel and be productive, it's essential to maximize your personal powers. This involves understanding and leveraging your peak energy periods throughout the day. Everyone has times when they are more alert and focused. Identify these periods and schedule your most challenging tasks accordingly.

Energy management is as crucial as time management. By aligning your work with your natural energy levels, you can achieve more in less time. Here are some strategies to help you harness your personal powers:

  • Recognize your high-energy times and protect them for high-priority work.

  • Take regular breaks to recharge and maintain a high level of performance.

  • Ensure adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise to sustain your energy.

16. Motivate Yourself into Action

Finding the drive to tackle your tasks can be challenging, but it's essential for overcoming procrastination. Motivation acts as the catalyst that transforms planning into action. To ignite this drive, you can draw inspiration from success stories or methodologies from personal development leaders, such as the insights found in 'Awaken the Giant Within' by Anthony Robbins.

  • Reflect on your goals and the satisfaction of achieving them.

  • Visualize the end result and the steps needed to get there.

  • Reward yourself for small victories along the way.

By fostering a motivational mindset, you can push through the inertia and start making tangible progress on your goals.

17. Get Out of the Technological Time Sinks

In the age of constant connectivity, it's easy to fall into the trap of technological time sinks. These are the apps, websites, and digital activities that consume our time without contributing to our productivity. To combat this, identify the main culprits that distract you and set strict limits for their use.

  • Turn off non-essential notifications.

  • Allocate specific times for checking emails and social media.

  • Use apps that track and limit your usage of other apps.

Remember, the goal is to use technology as a tool to enhance your productivity, not to let it dominate your time. Overcoming procrastination and achieving deep work requires building habits that support your goals and priorities.

18. Slice and Dice the Task

Breaking down a large or complex task into smaller, more manageable pieces can make it seem less daunting and more approachable. This technique, known as slicing and dicing, allows you to focus on one segment at a time, making progress without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Identify the overall task

  • Break it into sub-tasks

  • Assign a time frame to each

  • Begin with the most approachable piece

Start with the easiest part to build momentum and gain a sense of accomplishment early on. This can provide the motivation needed to tackle the rest of the task.

19. Create Large Chunks of Time

One of the most effective ways to enhance productivity is by creating large chunks of time where you can work uninterrupted on your most important tasks. This approach allows for deep focus and can lead to significant progress in your work.

  • Identify your peak productivity periods during the day.

  • Schedule your most challenging tasks during these times.

  • Eliminate or minimize interruptions by informing others of your focus time.

  • Use tools or techniques to prevent distractions, such as turning off notifications.

Remember, it's not just the quantity of time spent on tasks, but the quality of that time that makes the difference. Regular breaks are also crucial to maintain a high level of performance throughout your work sessions. Celebrate your milestones as they contribute to a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to maintain your discipline and consistency.

20. Develop a Sense of Urgency

Developing a sense of urgency is crucial for high productivity and effective time management. Acting with urgency means prioritizing speed and efficiency without sacrificing quality. It's about recognizing the value of every moment and using it to move closer to your goals.

  • Recognize the importance of time and treat it as a non-renewable resource.

  • Set clear deadlines to foster a sense of urgency.

  • Break tasks into smaller, manageable parts to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

By cultivating a sense of urgency, you can avoid complacency and maintain a proactive approach to your work. This mindset helps you stay focused, avoid procrastination, and ultimately, achieve success through hard work, persistence, and learning.

21. Single Handle Every Task

The principle of single handling each task is a powerful antidote to procrastination. Focus on one task at a time until completion before moving on to the next. This approach minimizes distractions and increases efficiency.

  • Start by selecting one task.

  • Work on it exclusively until finished.

  • Resist the urge to multitask.

By adopting this method, you'll find that your productivity soars and your to-do list shrinks at a much faster rate. It's a simple yet effective way to ensure that you're not only getting things done but also doing them well.


In conclusion, 'Eat That Frog!' by Brian Tracy is a compelling guide for anyone looking to enhance their productivity and overcome the habit of procrastination. Tracy's 21 strategies provide a comprehensive roadmap to prioritize tasks, tackle the most significant challenges first, and maintain a disciplined approach to time management. By internalizing these principles and applying them consistently, individuals can transform their work habits, achieve their goals more efficiently, and ultimately lead more fulfilling lives. The book's practical advice is not only relevant for professionals but for anyone who wishes to make the most out of their time and efforts in various aspects of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main idea of 'Eat That Frog' by Brian Tracy?

The main idea of 'Eat That Frog' is to overcome procrastination and enhance productivity by tackling the most challenging and important tasks first, metaphorically eating the 'ugliest frog' to make the rest of the day more productive and fulfilling.

How can the 'ABCDE Method' help in managing tasks?

The 'ABCDE Method' is a prioritization technique where you categorize tasks by importance and urgency, with 'A' being the most important tasks to accomplish and 'E' being the least. This method helps in focusing on what matters most, ensuring that high-priority tasks are completed first.

What does Brian Tracy mean by 'Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything'?

Brian Tracy refers to the Pareto Principle, which states that 80% of results come from 20% of efforts. By applying this rule, one should focus on the 20% of tasks that will yield the most significant results, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity.

Can you explain the concept of 'Creative Procrastination'?

Creative procrastination is the deliberate decision to postpone work on less critical tasks in order to focus on more significant ones. It's about strategically choosing which tasks to delay so that you can prioritize what truly drives success and progress.

What is the 'Law of Three' in 'Eat That Frog'?

The 'Law of Three' states that there are usually three tasks that contribute to the majority of your productivity and results. By identifying and focusing on these three key tasks, you can work more effectively and make better use of your time.

What does 'Single Handle Every Task' mean?

To 'Single Handle Every Task' means to focus on one task at a time, start it, and work on it until completion without distractions or multitasking. This approach promotes deep work and can lead to higher quality results and more efficient use of time.

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