Eat the Frog to End Procrastination

Eat the Frog to End Procrastination


It’s human nature to put off tasks that are unpleasant, difficult to accomplish, or that you feel conflicted about completing.

For example, when you face an unpleasant task that requires confrontation with others, the tendency is to procrastinate. Most humans seem hard-wired to avoid disagreements. However, what may have been a small difference turns into a major confrontation because it builds over time.

Personal Effectiveness experts have identified the eight most typical causes of procrastination:

The 8 most typical causes of procrastination

Take the case of delaying a disciplinary action with an employee. When you avoid that conversation, the employee’s behaviour may continue or become even worse. In some cases, it can lead to cause for dismissal.

But most companies require that certain steps be taken to resolve issues before termination, and documenting disciplinary actions is one of those steps. Because you haven’t followed the process, you’re in the middle of an unavoidable conflict that you can’t quickly resolve.

The longer you postpone difficult conversations, the worse the situation can get. By the time you’re forced to address it, all the reasons you hate confrontation are sure to be magnified.

One of the most important principles in overcoming procrastination is to take the first step — so go ahead and get started.

“Eat the frog” is a metaphor for tackling the day’s most challenging task. As Mark Twain, famously said;


“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

This extremely successful technique enables you to move beyond procrastination by tackling the toughest job first.

If you’re working on a single, big task, then take on the most difficult aspect of it before the rest. We advise tackling it first thing in the morning, a time when most people are at their peak in terms of energy, intensity, and focus. If you conquer the most difficult task first, your day will be a lot more productive. It will also boost your self-efficacy.


”Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.”
George Claude Lorimer

To really increase your results further, start the preparation for the toughest tasks the night before. When you prepare well for your effort, you won’t waste the first 30 minutes just getting ready to go.

5 Simple tips to End Procrastination:

1. Make a list of the tasks at hand in order of most challenging to easiest and start at the top

2. Set yourself a deadline so you hold yourself accountable to a time-frame of completion

3. Set aside 30 minutes at the end of each day to clear your desk, email and deal with any administration that may otherwise become a distraction from the real tasks that need dealing with

4. Talk to others about your workload so a) they can help hold you accountable, b) they can help you with the task should you need help and c) when you talk things through they can often seem a lot less daunting… a problem shared…

5. Embrace new challenges because whenever you move out of your comfort zone you learn and develop


“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Outstand provides tools and tactics to help you overcome that debilitating paralysis that holds you back from getting started, and the attacks that slow you down, and stop you in mid-project.

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