Making time to write is extremely hard, especially for new writers with no deadline and no income from writing (read: no incentive). Years spent trying to cram writing into overstuffed days has led me to read dozens of time management books. Of all the planning/organizing/time-management books I’ve studied, EAT THAT FROG! is my favorite.
Tracy’s method is ideal for writers because it doesn’t involve fancy planners or complex schedules or accounting for every hour spent. In fact, you can apply Tracy’s principles without scheduling your day at all and you’ll still get everything done. How? By focusing on priorities.
What does “eat that frog” mean? A frog is any task that you have to do today, tomorrow, or in this lifetime. We all have more on our to-do lists than we’ll ever accomplish. The trick is to identify the most important task (the biggest, ugliest frog) and “eat” that first. It sounds simple, but this is actually the time management step that people skip! Our schedules are full of things that seem urgent, but won’t help us achieve our long-term goals. It’s all too easy to spend the day rushing from one thing to another without ever getting to the important tasks. Is it any wonder we’re both exhausted and constantly behind schedule?
EAT THAT FROG! is less a time-management book and more an anti-procrastination book. Chapter by chapter, Tracy breaks down the lies that procrastinators tell themselves. “I work better under pressure,” we might say. (No, we don’t.) “I’m the only one who can do this job.” (Oh, really?) “Let me just warm up by doing this little task here, then I’ll tackle the big one.” (Meanwhile, the important stuff never gets done.)
Tracy gets right to the heart of each issue. His chapters are short, his prose straightforward. Some how-to books try to expand one simple idea into a 200 page book, but EAT THAT FROG! never repeats itself. Tracy gives just enough information to make his point, never digressing or falling into endless page-filling examples.
Tracy does not promise a schedule so perfect that you’ll have time for all your work, all your family obligations, exercise, and extra leisure time too. He plays it straight. Everyone is working at 110% capacity. We’ll never be caught up. All the more reason to eat the biggest frogs first. The tadpoles can wait.
EAT THAT FROG can be found here.
rating: 5 stars
This book is best for: all writers
I recommend this book.