Byron's Babbles

Deadline: Yesterday!

Procrastination3Do you ever avoid meeting with a direct report who isn’t performing well, telling yourself you’ll get to it later? Or do you tend to postpone intimidating projects that will test your self-confidence, abilities, comfort zone, or patience? These are all questions John Manning posed in this week’s entry in The Disciplined Leader (2015). Manning (2015) told us, “If so, those are a few of the classic red flags of procrastination.” This week’s lesson reminded me how important it is to get the tough stuff tackled first and move on. This keeps us from worrying about something that probably will not be as bad or tough as we think it will be.

This week’s entry also reminded me of another great book that has really brought inspiration to me as a leader. The book is Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy (2007). His book offers real help on how to overcome procrastination and increase your productivity.  It’s known as Eat that Frog!  And those that follow this tip recommend eating it for breakfast. The inspiration for the book actually came from a Mark Twain quote:

“If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” – Mark Twain

Really, what Tracy (2007) was telling us is that if you just do the tough task that you have been51fQHllRwdL._UY250_ procrastinating about, all the tasks after that won’t seem as bad.  It is a strong idea to help you stop procrastinating. Let me tell you, it works, too. Think about that tough phone call you had to make recently. You put it off and put it off and then finally make the call. Was it as bad as you thought? Probably not. Were you relieved when it was done? Yes! Did you feel better when it was done? Yes! If you can relate to this than you certainly get the idea of “Eat that Frog.” Eat that fog! Get it done and over-with and move on. This is the radical idea. Take the lesson from John Manning (2015):

“Take on difficult challenges earlier in the day when your mind is more focused and you have more energy.” ~ John Manning

Eating the frog may taste nasty or be an annoying or frustrating task. But accomplishing it will lighten upimg_1643-1 your mood and give you a surge of energy and enthusiasm for the day. It’s an empowering feeling and it will spread into your other activities. Another important point to remember related to Tracy’s (2007) analogy is the longer you keep looking at your frog and procrastinating, the harder and harder it will be to actually eat that frog (get the task completed). Not to mention the fact that having the task on your mind is keeping you from being as effective or sharp on your other tasks. Finally, Tracy (2007) also taught us that when you have two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.  That way the second one won’t seem quite as bad.  Manning (2015) translated this for us by teaching us to “Schedule these activities first.”

So, get out there and eat that frog and get on to the important activities of the day!


Manning, John (2015-06-15). The disciplined leader: keeping the focus on what really matters. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Tracy, B. (2007). Eat that frog! San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.




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