In less than half an hour I had read the preface, the intro and each chapter's introductory paragraph and concluding 'Eat That Frog!' action point. And that was enough for me to get up and do something straight away. I then read the detail in an evening (each of the 21 ideas forms a chapter that is only 2-3 pages long).
Brian is refreshingly frank and truthful from page one: "There is never enough time to do everything you have to do. You are never 'going to get caught up'. You will never get on top of all your tasks. No matter how many personal productivity techniques you master, there will always be more to do than you can ever accomplish in the time you have available."
The book then presents some blindingly obvious but profound 'rules' for successful prioritisation, organisation and taking action. In fact, the core message is just that - do something!
Each of the 21 tips is a really practical, do-able idea, and Brian Tracy's writing style is sufficiently motivational to get me into action - doing things I already know I should be doing.
The gems contained in this book are so valuable that I think you'd get your money's worth if you only read the three-and-a-half page 'Putting It All Together' summary at the back. So do something: buy it!
A 'frog' is defined as a task that is likely to make a major impact on your success, something important and possibly also substantial. It may also be a hard or 'ugly' task, which leads to a temptation to procrastinate. Tracy advocates 'eating' the ugliest frog first and avoiding the temptation to do easier pleasanter tasks.
Tracy leads the reader through the steps he believes you need to take to achieve greater effectiveness and success and to overcome procrastination. He starts with the importance of written goals - clarity about what you want to achieve. Setting yourself deadlines is an essential part of this process. Both these views are conventional time management wisdom, and they are very important. Tracy suggests that we need to develop an action orientation, for which goals are the basis. They are also the basis for task lists, with an ever-updated Master List being used as a foundation for monthly, weekly and daily action lists. These lists, in turn, are used as a basis for prioritising and planning - with further lists of activities for each project or task.
Interestingly, Tracy uses a straight line prioritising tool - from A (frog) to E (eliminate), and does not mention the quadrant method which has become more prevalent recently, and which is advocated as an important tool for prioritisation in Stephen R. Covey's 'First Things First'.Read more ›