Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy has a catchy title for one of the best time management books on the planet. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It is a short 144 pages that can be read in a couple of hours. I try to read this book annually, because it has so many great productivity tips. Below are 9 takeaways and quotes from this epic book that can easily double your productivity - if you'll apply its teachings.
1. Eat that Frog is comprised of 21 short chapters, all on the topic of productivity and time management. Brian gets to the point quickly in each chapter, which I appreciate. He doesn't belabor each chapter with long stories, but quickly explains the productivity tip and how you can apply it right away. I find that many nonfiction books are about twice as long as they need to be, due to long stories. This book is just the right length. Brian is a prolific author and teacher who has written 70 books. Learn more about him here: www.briantracy.com
2. “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first. This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.” The title of this book is based on the concept that it is best to tackle your most important priority at work first thing in the day. Get it done before you get sidetracked on other less important but perhaps more seemingly "urgent" tasks that come up. If you have two important tasks, do the most important one first. Eat that frog!
3. “One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not to be done at all.” This is one of my favorite quotes of the book. It's simple and yet so profound. How much time do we each waste doing things that don't need to be done at all? This quote reminds me of Jim Collin's advocating in his classic book, Good to Great, that we each should have a "stop doing list." What are some tasks in your life you should simply stop doing? We all have some. Perhaps many things we should stop doing...
4. “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement. The bigger your goals and the clearer they are, the more excited you become about achieving them. The more you think about your goals, the greater becomes your inner drive and desire to accomplish them.” Brian Tracy is a big believer in goal setting. In fact, he wrote another favorite book of mine, Goals, which I heartily recommend to you. I confess that I haven't been the best goal-setter in my life. I'm naturally driven, which is generally helpful, but I see the wisdom in setting big and clear goals. As I type this, I realize that I need to read Goals again too... :)
5. “Rule: Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.” This is such a powerful quote and is so very true. We need to be continuous learners in our lives. Never stop learning and growing. In fact, this is why I advocate on this blog that we should all #readmorebooks. :) Reading books is indeed one of the best ways to continually improve yourself. Brian does make the point in this book that you should aim to read 1 hour a day materials that are related to your career: books, articles, blogs, etc.
6. “The Key to Success is Action." Okay this might seem like a no-duh quote, but it gives a great snapshot of this book. This is an action-oriented book that will encourage and propel you toward action. Planning is nice, but execution is everything. You will only be successful in work and life to the extent you are action-oriented. This book will give you some great tools to not only take action, but take the right actions every day. Go the extra mile. As another great quote says: "There are no traffic jams on the extra mile." :)
7. “Rule: It is the quality of time at work that counts and the quantity of time at home that matters.” I will close with this quote from Brian because it is again epic. Work hard at work. Work smart at work. But then when you are at home, just spend time with your family. Don't try to be "efficient" or just have "quality time" with your family. We need to have "QUANTITY time" with our family. The hours matter. Be present with your family. Be efficient at work so you can spend more time at home with your family.
8. A fun animated 7-minute video overview of Eat that Frog is below:
9. Eat that Frog's 21 chapters, listed below, will give you a good overview of this book's structure:
Have you read Eat That Frog or any of Brian Tracy's other books? What are some of your favorite productivity tips? Please share in the comments section below, thanks!
Read More Books,
p.s. I blog to encourage you to live a better life by reading more books. I'd be honored if you'd subscribe to my blog's emails at: www.mikepritchard.com/subscribe.html