Where Possible, Eat The Frog Leg Before It Becomes a Frog
A little bit of pain and discomfort now is better than a mountain later
In the realm of productivity, there is a common tactic of eating the frog. Pick your biggest, gnarliest item on your to-do list and do that first. Don’t put it off. Do it first and then do the smaller tasks later. There’s also the similar analogy of filling your jar with the big rocks first and then filling in with the smaller rocks later.
If you try to do all your little tasks first, you will use up all your energy in your most productive hours on the little things. Then, when you try to tackle the big item, you may not have the energy or time to complete it.
But there are some frogs or big rocks that grow over time as opposed to just being thrown in your lap all of a sudden. And if you deal with them before they grow, it’s not as bad. Then, they can just become another one of those little tasks you do after your big frog/ rock of the day.
Here’s a personal productivity example from my life. We don’t have a dishwasher in my apartment so we have to wash all our dishes by hand. Guess what’s the last thing I want to do after working all day and cooking dinner? That’s right, the dishes.
Inevitably, we would put off doing the dishes until the mountain of dishes in the sink made it impossible to wash anything or even made it impossible to cook because the dishes we needed would be in the sink. Then, we’d have to tackle that mountain of dishes. When all we really want to do is cook or put away one dish.
We struggled with this for years. We hated that we couldn’t figure this out. That we couldn’t “adult” with this simple task of doing the dishes. We knew that everyone said to do household chores a little bit on a regular basis to keep them from growing into massive problems, but we just couldn’t make it work for some reason.
But this all changed with the new year. I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was the new hanging pot unit and the organizational unit we installed over the holidays. Maybe it was the “honeymoon phase” of 2022, but things just clicked.
The new units helped us clear out a lot of the organizational chaos of our kitchen due…