Book summary: Eat That Frog by Brain Tracy

21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time.

By reading this Eat that Frog summary I will assure you that you don’t need to read a book. Because in this post I have covered all chapter’s lessons.

For just 1 page summary you can click here.

Why do you have to read this Eat That Frog book summary?

Reason: If you are like most people today, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time.

As you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities just keep rolling in, like the waves of the ocean. Because of this, you will never be able to do everything you have to do.

You will never be caught up. You will always be behind in some of your tasks and responsibilities, and probably in many of them.

“If you find procrastination to be a consistent problem in your life, Eat That Frog! offers a concise and valuable collection of tactics to try.

The reasons for each person’s procrastination are different, so it’s good that Tracy’s tactics are fairly diverse and attack many different avenues of procrastination.”

 —The Simple Dollar


“BEWARE: This book will have a profound impact on your working practices and the results you’ll achieve.

Eat That Frog! challenges your working practices, it explains the self-discipline needed to succeed, and [it] firmly gets to the root cause of why people procrastinate.

Then it effortlessly explains how to boost your productivity once and for all.”

—Micro Business Hub

Want to know how?

Favorite quote: “One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not to be done at all.”

Let’s get started.

Chapter 1: Set the table

Before you can determine your “frog” and get on with the job of eating it, you have to decide exactly what you want to achieve in each area of your life.

Clarity is perhaps the most important concept in personal productivity.

The number one reason why some people get more work done faster is that they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives, and they don’t deviate from them.

The greater clarity you have regarding what you want and the steps you will have to take to achieve it, the easier it will be for you to overcome procrastination, eat your frog, and complete the task before you.

A major reason for procrastination and lack of motivation is vagueness, confusion, and fuzzy-mindedness about what you are trying to do and in what order, and for what reason.

You must avoid this common condition with all your strength by striving for ever-greater clarity in your major goals and tasks.

Here is a great rule for success: Think on paper.

Only about 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals.

These people accomplish five and ten times as much as people of equal or better education and ability but who, for whatever reason, have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want.

There is a powerful formula for setting and achieving goals that you can use for the rest of your life. It consists of seven simple steps.

Any one of these steps can double and triple your productivity if you are not currently using it.

Many of my graduates have increased their incomes dramatically in a matter of a few years, or even a few months, with this simple, seven-part method.

Step one: Decide exactly what you want.

Either decide for yourself or sit down with your boss and discuss your goals and objectives until you are crystal clear about what is expected of you and in what order of priority.

Step two: Write it down. Think on paper. When you write down a goal, you crystallize it and give it tangible form.

Step three: Set a deadline for your goal; set sub-deadlines if necessary. A goal or decision without a deadline has no urgency.

Step four: Make a list of everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal.

Step five: Organize the list into a plan. Organize your list by priority and sequence. List all tasks in the order they need to be done.

Step six: Take action on your plan immediately. Do something. Do anything.

Step seven: Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal. Build this activity into your daily schedule.

Chapter 2: Plan Every Day in Advance

You have heard the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is “One bite at a time!”

How do you eat your biggest, ugliest frog? The same way: you break it down into specific step-by-step activities and then you start on the first one.

Conversely, as Alec Mackenzie wrote, “Taking action without thinking things through is a prime source of problems.”

The better the plan you have, the easier it is for you to overcome procrastination, get started, eat your frog, and then keep going.

The good news is that every minute spent in planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution.

It takes only about 10 to 12 minutes for you to plan your day, but this small investment of time will save you up to two hours (100 to 120 minutes) in wasted time and diffuse effort throughout the day.

Read a more Detailed Book summary of the rudest book ever by Shwetabh Gangwar.

Chapter 3: Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management.

For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results.

This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth much more than the other eight items put together.

Before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?”

Rule: Resist the temptation to clear up small things first.

Remember, whatever you choose to do over and over eventually becomes a habit that is hard to break.

If you choose to start your day working on low-value tasks, you will soon develop the habit of always starting and working on low-value tasks.

This is not the kind of habit you want to develop or keep. Low-value tasks are like rabbits; they multiply continually. You never get caught up.

Chapter 4: Consider the Consequences

The mark of the superior thinker is his or her ability to accurately predict the consequences of doing or not doing something.

The potential consequences of any task or activity are the key determinants of how important a task really is to you and to your company.

This way of evaluating the significance of a task is how you determine what your next frog really is.

People who take a long-term view of their lives and careers always seem to make much better decisions about their time and activities than people who give very little thought to the future.

Rule: Long-term thinking improves short-term decision-making.

Before starting on anything, you should always ask yourself, “What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?”

Rule: Future intent influences and often determines present actions.

The clearer you are about your future intentions, the greater influence that clarity will have on what you do in the moment.

Chapter 5: Practice Creative Procrastination

Creative procrastination is one of the most effective of all personal performance techniques. It can change your life.

The fact is that you can’t do everything that you have to do. You have to procrastinate on something.

Therefore, I deliberately and consciously procrastinate on small tasks. Put off eating smaller or less ugly frogs.

Eat the biggest and ugliest frogs before anything else. Do the worst first!

Everyone procrastinates.

The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.

Chapter 6: Use the ABCDE Method Continually.

The more thought you invest in planning and setting priorities before you begin, the more important things you will do, and the faster you will get them done once you get started.

The more important and valuable a task is to you, the more likely you will be motivated to overcome procrastination and launch yourself into the job.

The ABCDE Method is a powerful priority-setting technique that you can use every single day.

The power of this technique lies in its simplicity. Here’s how it works: You start with a list of everything you have to do for the coming day.

Think on paper.

You then place an A, B, C, D, or E next to each item on your list before you begin the first task.

An “A” item is defined as something that is very important, something that you must do.

If you have more than one A task, you prioritize these tasks by writing “A-1,” “A-2,” “A-3,” and so on in front of each item. Your A-1 task is your biggest, ugliest frog of all.

A “B” item is defined as a task that you should do. But it has only mild consequences.

A “C” task is defined as something that would be nice to do but for which there are no consequences at all, whether you do it or not.

A “D” task is defined as something you can delegate to someone else. The rule is that you should delegate everything that someone else can do so you can free up more time for the A tasks that only you can do.

An “E” task is defined as something that you can eliminate altogether, and it won’t make any real difference. This may be a task that was important at one time but is no longer relevant to you or anyone else.

The key to making this ABCDE Method work is for you to now discipline yourself to start immediately on your A-1 task and then stay at it until it is complete.

Chapter 7: Focus on Key Result Areas

“Why am I on the payroll?” This is one of the most important questions you can ever ask and answer, over and over again, throughout your career.

A key result area is defined as something for which you are completely responsible. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.

A key result area is an activity that is under your control. It produces an output that becomes an input or a contributing factor to the work of others.

The key result areas of management are planning, organizing, staffing, delegating, supervising, measuring, and reporting.

These are the areas in which a manager must get results to be successful in his or her area of responsibility.

A weakness in any one of these areas can lead to underachievement and failure as a manager.

Once you have determined your key result areas, the second step is for you to grade yourself on a scale of one to ten (with one being the lowest and ten being the highest) in each of those areas.

Where are you strong and where are you weak? Where are you getting excellent results and where are you underperforming?

Chapter 8: Apply the Law of Three

In 80 percent or more of cases, people have three goals in common: first, a financial and career goal; second, a family or personal relationship goal; and third, a health or fitness goal.

And this is as it should be.

These are the three most important areas of life. If you give yourself a grade on a scale of one to ten in each of these three areas, you can immediately identify where you are doing well in life and where you need some improvement.

Try it yourself and see. Give this exercise to your spouse or your children. The answers can be quite revealing.

we expand this exercise by asking the following questions:

1. What are your three most important business or career goals right now?

2. What are your three most important family or relationship goals right now?

3. What are your three most important financial goals right now?

4. What are your three most important health goals right now?

5. What are your three most important personal and professional development goals right now?

6. What are your three most important social and community goals right now?

7. What are your three biggest problems or concerns in life right now?

When you force yourself to ask and answer each of these questions in thirty seconds or less, you will be amazed at the answers.

Whatever your answers, they will usually be an accurate snapshot of your true situation in life at the moment.

These answers will tell you what is really important to you.

Chapter 9: Prepare Thoroughly Before You Begin

One of the best ways for you to overcome procrastination and get more things done faster is to have everything you need at hand before you begin.

When you are fully prepared, you are like a cocked gun or an archer with an arrow pulled back taut in the bow.

You will be amazed at what you achieve in the months and years ahead. You just need one small mental push to get started on your highest-value tasks.

Begin by clearing off your desk or workspace so that you have only one task in front of you. If necessary, put everything else on the floor or on a table behind you.

Set up your work area so that it is comfortable, attractive, and conducive to working for long periods.

Especially, make sure that you have a comfortable chair that supports your back and allows your feet to rest flat on the floor.

Chapter 10: Take It One Oil Barrel at a Time

There is an old saying that “by the yard it’s hard; but inch by inch, anything’s a cinch!”

One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is for you to get your mind off the huge task in front of you and focus on a single action that you can take.

One of the best ways to eat a large frog is for you to take it one bite at a time.

Chapter 11: Upgrade Your Key Skills

Upgrading your skills is one of the most important personal productivity principles of all. Learn what you need to learn so that you can do your work in an excellent fashion.

The better you become at eating a particular type of frog, the more likely you are to just plunge in and get it done.

A major reason for procrastination is a feeling of inadequacy, a lack of confidence, or an inability in a key area of a task.

Feeling weak or deficient in a single area is enough to discourage you from starting the job at all. Continually upgrade your skills in your key result areas.

Remember, however good you are today, your knowledge and skills are becoming obsolete at a rapid rate.

As Pat Riley, the basketball coach, said, “Anytime you stop striving to get better, you’re bound to get worse.”

Chapter 12: Identify Your Key Constraints

Between where you are today and any goal or objective that you want to accomplish, there is one major constraint that must be overcome before you can achieve that major goal.

Your job is to identify it clearly.

What is holding you back?

What sets the speed at which you achieve your goals?

What determines how fast you move from where you are to where you want to go?

What stops you or holds you back from eating the frogs that can really make a difference?

Why aren’t you at your goal already?

These are some of the most important questions you will ever ask and answer on your way to achieving high levels of personal productivity and effectiveness.

Chapter 13: Put the Pressure on Yourself

The world is full of people who are waiting for someone to come along and motivate them to be the kind of people they wish they could be.

The problem is that no one is coming to the rescue.

These people are waiting for a bus on a street where no buses pass.

If they don’t take charge of their lives and put pressure on themselves, they can end up waiting forever. And that is what most people do.

Only about 2 percent of people can work entirely without supervision. We call these people “leaders.” This is the kind of person you are meant to be and that you can be if you decide to be.

To reach your full potential, you must form the habit of putting pressure on yourself and not waiting for someone else to come along and do it for you.

You must choose your own frogs and then make yourself eat them in their order of importance.

Chapter 14: Motivate Yourself into Action

To perform at your best, you must become your own personal cheerleader.

You must develop a routine of coaching yourself and encouraging yourself to play at the top of your game.

Most of your emotions, positive or negative, are determined by how you talk to yourself on a minute-to-minute basis.

It is not what happens to you but the way that you interpret the things that are happening to you that determines how you feel.

Your version of events largely determines whether these events motivate or de-motivate you, whether they energize or de-energize you.

To keep yourself motivated, you must resolve to become a complete optimist. You must decide to respond positively to the words, actions, and reactions of the people and situations around you.

You must refuse to let the unavoidable difficulties and setbacks of daily life affect your mood or emotions.

Chapter 15: Technology Is a Terrible Master

Technology can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Technology becomes the enemy when we give in to an obsessive need to communicate continually. This compulsion to stay plugged in leaves us all psychologically breathless.

We have no time to stop, smell the roses, and collect our thoughts.

When people are too plugged in, communications technology quickly becomes a destructive addiction.

Refuse to Be a Slave

Unchain yourself from your computer. Unsubscribe from all unwanted newsletters.

Set up an autoresponder that says, “I check my e-mail only twice per day. I will reply as soon as possible. If this is an emergency, phone this number.”

Chapter 16: Technology Is a Wonderful Servant

You must discipline yourself to treat technology as a servant, not as a master.

The purpose of technology is to make your life smoother and easier, not to create complexity, confusion, and stress

Use your technological tools to regularly remind yourself of what is most important and protect yourself from what is least important.

Technology can be a simple way to get control of your communications, your time, and even your emotions.

Chapter 17: Focus Your Attention

All of life is the study of attention; where your attention goes, your life follows.


Focused attention is the key to high performance.

The “attraction of distraction,” the lure of electronic and other interruptions, leads to diffused attention, a wandering mind, a lack of focus, and, ultimately, underachievement and failure.

Current research proves that continuously responding and reacting to e-mails, telephone calls, texts, and instant messages (IM) has a negative effect on your brain, shortening your attention span and making it difficult,

if not impossible, for you to complete the tasks upon which your future and your success depend.

Chapter 18: Slice and Dice the Task

A major reason for procrastinating on big, important tasks is that they appear so large and formidable when you first approach them.

One technique that you can use to cut a big task down to size is the “salami slice” method of getting work done.

Psychologically, you will find it easier to do a single, small piece of a large project than to start on the whole job.

Chapter 19: Create Large Chunks of Time

Most of the really important work you do requires large chunks of unbroken time to complete.

Your ability to carve out and use these blocks of high-value, highly productive time is central to your ability to make a significant contribution to your work and to your life.

Schedule Blocks of Time The key to the success of this method of working in specific time segments is for you to plan your day in advance and schedule a fixed time period for a particular activity or task.

Chapter 20: Develop a Sense of Urgency

Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. _NAPOLEON HILL

Perhaps the most outwardly identifiable quality of high-performing men and women is action orientation.

They are in a hurry to get their key tasks completed. Highly productive people take the time to think, plan, and set priorities.

They then launch quickly and strongly toward their goals and objectives. They work steadily, smoothly, and continuously.

As a result, they seem to power through enormous amounts of work in the same amount of time that the average person spends socializing, wasting time, and working on low-value activities.

Chapter 21: Single Handle Every Task

Eat that frog! Every bit of planning, prioritizing, and organizing comes down to this simple concept.

Every great achievement of humankind has been preceded by a long period of hard, concentrated work until the job is done.

Your ability to select your most important task, begin it, and then concentrate on it single-mindedly until it is complete is the key to high levels of performance and personal productivity.

Single handling requires that once you begin, you keep working on the task without diversion or distraction until the job is 100 percent complete.

You keep urging yourself onward by repeating the words “Back to work!” over and over whenever you are tempted to stop or do something else.

Favorite parts of Eat That Frog book.

“Refuse to complain about your problems. Keep them to yourself. As speaker-humorist Ed Foreman says, “You should never share your problems with others because 80 percent of people don’t care about them anyway, and the other 20 percent are kind of glad that you’ve got them in the first place.”

“Get it 80 percent right and then correct it later.” Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. Don’t expect perfection the first time or even the first few times. Be prepared to fail over and over before you get it right. The biggest enemies we have to overcome on the road to success are not a lack of ability and a lack of opportunity but fears of failure and rejection and the doubts that they trigger. The only way to overcome your fears is to “do the thing you fear,”

“Continually upgrade your skills in your key result areas. Remember, however good you are today, your knowledge and skills are becoming obsolete at a rapid rate. As Pat Riley, the basketball coach, said, “Anytime you stop striving to get better, you’re bound to get worse.”

“The more you discipline yourself to persist on a major task, the more you like and respect yourself, and the higher your self-esteem.”

Thank you for your time.

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