Eat That Frog

August 20, 2010

Once upon a time, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog in a pond. The frog said to the princess, “I was once a handsome prince until an evil witch put a spell on me. One kiss from you and I will turn back into a prince and then we can marry, move into the castle with my mom where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children and forever feel lucky for doing so.” That night, the princess had frog legs for dinner.

Have you ever seen a live frog? I don’t mean the kind you pin on a board in Biology class. What I mean is have you ever taken the time to look at it real up close? It’s so ugly isn’t it. Now it may remind you of somebody you know in the work place but that is not the point. The point of the live frog is that Zig Ziglar says, “If you need to wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you wouldn’t want to look at that sucker for too long!”

That ugly live frog represents the one task you hate doing for that day. Get over it by getting through it. Work on it first thing in the morning and the rest of the day will be bright and sunny. The reason why procrastination happens is because many people see the live frog and then they keep it in the pond hoping it will go away. Work on some other tasks and meanwhile, the thought of that live frog sucks the energy away.

I have a thousand and one things to do every day. Invariably I would come across a particular task I’m not excited to work on. That is my ugly frog but believe me, I deal with it first thing. Regardless of what I feel, I just commit myself to doing it. Eat that live frog and the rest of the day would be a walk in the park. Here is what I have realized over the years. The most important tasks I can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But I need to replace those “don’t-feel-like-doing-it” feelings that I know would degenerate into “why-not-just-do-it-later” urges with “deal-with-it-right-now” guided by a sense of “give-it-my-best-shot” effort and then enjoy the rewards and payoffs for completing these tasks.

Some people manage their time. I manage my tasks. I also manage my energy. There are essential tasks I need to stick to and then there are tasks that seem urgent but in reality are not important. Here is an interesting discovery. Most tasks seem to take the same amount of time to accomplish. But the few essential tasks that are done would add value to my success goals in life. Shelve these and I incur loss. Work on the non-essential tasks may give me the “feeling” of accomplishment, but at the end of the day, I would bring my tired body and wonder why I exerted so much effort and did so many things but feel like I did not accomplish much.

Rushing to go to “happy hour” is not essential. Spending time with the family for dinner is. Watching senseless reality shows is not essential. Reading books and surfing the net researching latest developments in relation to one’s work and expertise is. Jumping from one bar to another with “friends” is not essential. Sitting down, calling or writing a friend is.

Activities and accomplishments are not the same. But you start the day thinking about starting and finishing an important task would motivate you and help you overcome procrastination. “One of these days” becomes “None of these days.”

God has given all of us equal amount of time in a day but it all depends on how we use it wisely. Successful people are people who have the discipline to start on the most important task that is before them no matter how ugly that task seems. Just eat that live frog and don’t look at the sucker for a long time. You’ll end up accomplishing more and become happier in the process. Trust me. It works….now where is that frog….?

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Tony Abamo

    Im blessed! It just hit me because procrastinating thoughts are in my mind now! Thanks FJK!! You’ve motivated my day! God bless you more!

  2. Gigi G. Alcantara

    Hello Francis!

    we are friends in fb and i’m a great fan from smdc (sm dev’t. corp.)….. thanks for sharing this article. I particularly like the phrases “some people manage their time, i manage my tasks and my energy” as well as the statement “activities and accomplishments are not the same”. I am in sales but i manage a group of in house sellers being the sales director. while i admit that my time management is not very good and i recognize fully that i have yet to exhaust all means to improve it, i still get to accomplish the essential tasks expected of me and even excel in other areas. I am not trying to justify my poor time management nor come up with excuses to redeem myself but my point is i feel that each of us has been blessed with certain abilities that may differ from the majority but in the end gets the job done just the same. I really don’t believe in “structure” or “boxing in” a person or “straight-jacketing” someone to get the needed results. well of course you need things guided by policy but i have seen a lot of people who would report for work early but will just spend the time walking around, hopping from one department to another, surf the internet to check ebay or amazon or promo rates from cebu pacific, stay for hours in the cafeteria, then walk around again to make himself visible being early at work, there are those who would just look busy but in reality are very unproductive. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the job done according to standards and the accomplishments. Evaluating which tasks are essential and which ones are to be worked on first are the prerequisites to being productive in the truest sense. coming in early bec of compliance is not a guarantee that you are doing your job and in a way that you are not procrastinating either and learning to eat your frog. God’s blessings to you and your family Francis!

    keep growing for others and thanks for igniting my passion,

  3. phoenixfire

    Hi! I am not a fan of FJK and I do not know him either. But I really like the articles he publish everyday, specially when I start to google about business matters and this article appear in my search and attracts my attention . From Middle East Every morning a cup of coffee and and article from Francis J Kong. Thank you very much for the inspiring words… Now let us start to make a meaning in life.

    Best Regards and God Bless you and your family.

  4. Armando Abrero

    For a moment I thought you will delve into a discussion of Paretto’s 80-20 principle and Covey’s (or Eisenhower’s) urgent vs. important musings. Am glad you did not, but instead explained these in plain and easy to understand terms! Thanks not only for eating these ‘frogs’ for us and sharing with us how these taste!

  5. alex

    good morning sir francis,
    I’m one of many people who admire your inspirational messages, i feel envy when i just recently surf your website because it means i missed a lot of wisdom from you.
    God is really good when he created a person like you who loves to share goodness and give inspirations to have a happy life and successful on every field we are in.
    God bless you and more power.

  6. sammy ross



    one at a time we will eat the frog of our lives by dealing laziness in us.
    AND we will be a more a happier person.


  7. Ronx

    Wow, nice read. Thanks Francis 🙂

  8. d.M

    a very nice thought to ponder.. 😀
    God bless you!

  9. jenniangel

    BRAVO!!! Thanks Sir Francis!!!

  10. elvie

    hehe! a very good reminder for me everyday..:)

    thanks Sir Francis! God Bless always 🙂

  11. mayet

    im hit again.. thank you sir.God bless you!!

  12. mama

    thank you. i am not usually a procrastinator but now i am looking for the frogs that may have been left behind !!! lol

  13. pp

    if there is one thing that gets put off in my life that is saving more than what i do. it’s not my ugly frog, it’s just that it’s something that i would like to do but could not because of unavoidable circumstances. hope things are better this time.

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