It makes it easy to prioritize: If you’re debating about whether or not something is worth your time, Tracy has a great solution: evaluate the consequences of not doing it. But if you know exactly what your goal is and are passionate about reaching it, even the most mundane task that brings you closer to it is imbued with meaning and significance. Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. The author discusses the meaning of the curious title in his introduction: 1. See also: We tried it The Pomodoro Technique (Productivity Hack), Address: 34 W 14th St. New York, NY 10011, USA, We tried it The Pomodoro Technique (Productivity Hack). Mark Twain? For us, it was very hard to make Tracy’s well-intentioned ideas actually actionable. The “eat the frog” concept (particularly in reference to your working out ‘frog’) reminds me of something a roommate once said to me years ago when I was hemming and hawing one evening about whether or not to go out for a jog. Dear Quote Investigator: There is a best-selling self-help book called “Eat That Frog!” that presents strategies to stop procrastination. Thinking of it this way, it makes it much easier to say “no” to things that might seem urgent but aren’t actually important. Mark Twain? (The original newspaper text incorrectly stated “Lallay”. It is a protest against literary criticism, which M. Zola apparently regards as mad, malicious, or ignorantly foolish He uses the frog to point a moral to the beginner in letters. Mark Twain — ‘If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. QI believes that the statement evolved from a quotation written by a famously witty French writer named Nicolas Chamfort who socialized with the aristocracy but supported the French Revolution. 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 worst thing that is … – Mark Twain. Call Your Grandmother. In the meantime, we’ll be trying some more out. In conclusion, QI hypothesizes that this family of sayings originated with the words of Nicolas Chamfort published circa 1795. It was Mark Twain who once said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. (Google Books full view) link
, 1896 March 7, The Speaker, Volume 13, (Issue starts on page 250), M. Zola’s Frog, (Commentary on an essay by Émile Zola), Quote Page 262, Mather & Crowther, London. Do either and you’ll tread water uselessly instead of propelling yourself forward. Mark Twain had a metaphor for getting hard things done: if you have to eat a live frog, do it right away, so that everything after that is easier by comparison. They might be quite right. Both courses of action are wrong, according to Tracy. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. My partner-in-crime and I lost interest after exactly two days. No. Believe me, it is the only method by which you can sustain your spirit against an unregenerate world, and achieve the fame that is your due.”. 1877, Hours with Men and Books by William Mathews, Chapter 16: A Forgotten Wit, Quote Page 295, S. C. Griggs and Company, Chicago, Illinois. You’ve probably heard the expression, “Eat the frog,” meaning get the most awful task of your day done first thing in the morning and everything else will be much easier to accomplish after that point. (Google Books full view), 1851, Causeries Du Lundi (Monday Chats) by C. A. Sainte-Beuve (Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve), Volume 7, (July 1851 to September 1851), Translated by E. J. Trechmann, Chamfort (Article dated September 22, 1851), Start Page 180, Quote Page 192, George Routledge & Sons, London, E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. After all, we’re all about experimenting with time management tips to work better and achieve more (Remember that time we tried the Pomorodo technique?). In 1865, his humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp California where he had spent some time as a miner. For Tracy, a “frog” is not only a task you’re likely to avoid; it’s one that’s going to have the biggest positive impact on your life. Scenario B: Tackle all the small, annoying, nagging tasks first to just get them over with. If you have to eat two frogs, don’t eat the smaller one first.” In other words, “Do it now.”, In 1990 a book in the popular series presenting installments of the “637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said” recalled the words of Chamfort in a streamlined form: 11, Swallow a toad in the morning if you want to encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day. Real devotees of Eat That Frog might say that we lack discipline and didn’t take it seriously enough. 1872 October 15, Evening Post, Personal, Quote Page 2, Column 3, New York, New York. Your most important task—the one you’re most inclined to put off—is the frog.