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Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time Audio Download – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Format: Paperback
There are two books that are very frequently plugged on blogs by indie authors: Story Engineering by Larry Brooks and Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. Like a true consumer, I have run all the way to Amazon with my Visa Debit card in hand and handed over my hard earned cash for them both. I am presently reading the former, which is nothing short of excellent. Here I will comment on the latter.

Eat That Frog is a self-help book about getting more of the important things done and includes 21 steps to getting lazy lumps like myself off our lazy arses. Great, I thought, seeing as I am a master procrastinator I thought that this book would serve me well.

I have to admit here that I have never found a self-help book truly helpful. This is not because I am sceptical, quite the opposite is true in fact as I tend to approach such books with annoyingly naïve optimism. It was with the same wide-eyed enthusiasm that I started reading Brian Tracy's book and commenced my mission to quash my procrastination.

Cue disappointment...

The first thing to say is that this is not really a book to aid those with procrastination issues and I am quite unsure as to why so many people have championed it as such. Whilst it does indeed start off in that vein, it is clear that this has much more to do with time management and organisation than motivation.

The initial messages were positive. Eat That Frog! Get the ugliest and most daunting task off your to-do list first thing and then everything else is simple. Great, this is a positive approach to have and Brian Tracy is correct that the endorphins released by this will compel an individual on to tackle the remainder of their tasks.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an easy read, and it contains a lot of sound advice - although none of the ideas is particularly new. As it is very list based, it will only appeal to people who like working with lists.
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'.
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Format: Paperback
This is not a time management book. Think of it more as a 'stop procrastinating and sort your life out' book. I was given this book by a colleague and, ironically, it sat on the back seat of my car for two weeks before I said to myself "Oh, that book - I must have a look at it."
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!
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