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Benefits of Accomplishing Your Biggest Tasks First Thing in the Morning

April 1st, 2008 · 5 Comments

There is an old adage that says if you eat a frog first thing in the morning, the rest of your day looks pretty easy. If you have two frogs to eat, pick the biggest, ugliest one first. Your personal “frog” is the project or activity that:

  • Yields the most benefit for you in reaching your goals or has the most importance for a company’s development
  • Is the item on which you keep procrastinating
  • Will normally give you a sense of accomplishment in getting it off your plate

Some tasks may fit all of these descriptions and some may only relate to one. My personal biggest frog is working out. Even though it doesn’t take mental acuity, if I don’t get it done first, chances are slim that it will happen later in the day, although it still lingers in my mind as a difficult, pending activity for the day. Once I have that out of the way, it makes the rest of the day seem easier. Then when I start work, after I do some quick clearing out of small items that have come up, I turn to the project that is going to take the most time and have the most impact (my second frog). From there, it is a downhill slope for the rest of the day.

We often hear about “morning people” vs. “night people.” Our internal clocks certainly have some effect on when we can focus, but reality is that there is only about a two-hour difference in peak mental concentration between the two groups. When you have a difficult project to do, it is normally best to set up an uninterrupted block of time earlier in the day, and use the afternoon for more routine work.

Without a plan to eat that frog first thing, you can wind up saying, “Where did this day go?” You were busy non-stop, but you do not feel that you actually accomplished much, and that significant activity you put off is still looming and creating little nagging feelings of guilt and stress.

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Tags: Personal Productivity · Planning · Procrastination · Time Management

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert // Apr 1, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I have been inspired by your article. I have had 2 things done that I did not want to do using your method.

  • 2 LeanaRhaine // Apr 3, 2008 at 4:05 am

    I agree with your ideas about doing the heaviest or the most difficult task first before doing your daily routine. Getting rid of it first will make you more confident and at ease that you will be able to do all the task in a day. With no heavy thoughts in mind, you will surely be productive for the day. And at the end of your shift, you will probably feel you did great!

  • 3 Dan Gtdagenda // Apr 8, 2008 at 11:24 am

    This is so true.

    Remember the saying: “How you start the day is how you end the day.”

  • 4 Avoid Crisis Management with These Simple Daily Schedule Changes // Apr 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    [...] Avoid procrastination.  When you keep stalling on a project, you end up with the last-minute pressure.  If you predetermined what your biggest chore for the day was, stick to that instead of diverting your attention to small tasks that are easier to check off.  See our previous post on the benefits of accomplishing your biggest task first thing in the morning. [...]

  • 5 Start With the Most Difficult Task First :A Touch of Business Blog // May 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    [...] Benefits of Accomplishing Your Biggest Tasks First Thing in the Morning [...]