Eat Your Frog

Using Your Planner to Conquer Those Frog Tasks

     If you came over to my house for an extended visit, at some point you might hear me or one of my family members casually talking about eating a frog. We picked that saying up years ago from a Christian time management speaker (Rick Grubbs), and it has become a common term around here. All of us have “frogs” in our lives, and today we are going to discuss what frogs are and how you can deal with them and eat your frog!

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

1. Eat Your Frog First

     Have you heard of the saying about eating frogs? If you had to eat a frog each day, you would want to eat it first thing in the morning so that you could then enjoy the rest of your day.

     Thankfully we don’t actually have to eat a whole frog each day. The one time I ate frog legs, I didn’t really enjoy them, so I don’t think eating a frog for breakfast would be my thing. However, we all have unpleasant tasks – “frogs” – that we have to complete. You know what your frogs are: those jobs that you put off as long as possible and allow to linger over your head.

     Why do we do this to ourselves? We could make life so much better if we ate our frogs first thing, yet instead, we procrastinate. This means putting them off, but it also means making ourselves dread them much longer and allowing our minds to become cluttered.

     So, what can be done about this? How can we learn to eat our frogs first? Let’s look at some ways you can use your planner to help you eat those frogs!

2. Keep a Master List

     One thing you can do to keep your frogs from cluttering your mind and even getting forgotten is to keep a running master list. Have a list in your planner where you can write down the things that you need to do. When you think of a task that needs to be done but you aren’t able to do at the moment, write it down. This way, you won’t have to keep running it over and over in your mind. And, you won’t be as likely to completely forget it. Identifying frogs is an important step in conquering them.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

3. Write It Down

     When you are making your daily to-do list, pick at least one item from your master list, and make that your first chore for the day. Remember, if you have to eat a frog, you want to do it first so that you can enjoy your day.

     If your master list happens to be empty, look at your daily to-do list. Which job are you most likely to dread and put off? If possible, pick that as your first task of the day. By eating your frog and showing yourself that you can tackle hard things with the Lord’s help, you can give yourself more confidence for completing the other things you need to do.

4. Give Thanks for Frogs

     Some of these tips have probably seemed obvious. I mean, we all know that we should do the hard things and not put them off, right? But, what about this one? We should also give thanks for the hard jobs God has given us to do. Why? For several reasons actually. Each job we have to do is a blessing, no matter how we look at it. Our jobs are usually caring for the people and resources God had placed in our lives. Look behind the job at the blessings you have.

     Also, thank the Lord for giving you the strength to complete the job. That is a huge blessing from Him. As you praise the Lord, your perspective will probably shift and your attitude change about this frog. It may still not be something you enjoy, but having a change of attitude and viewing it as a blessing is a wonderful way to prepare for the job and take your mind off yourself and put it on the Lord.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Colossians 3:17

5. Tackle Bullfrogs

     Some frog tasks are just giant bullfrogs, aren’t they? Sometimes these jobs are so intimidating that we just don’t want to start. After all, we probably can’t finish them in one setting.

     How can we eat these bullfrogs? One bite at a time! We might not be able to do the whole job today, but we can set a timer and get as much as possible done in a certain length of time. Putting them off doesn’t help. What helps is taking one bite today and another bite tomorrow, slowly eating away at this frog.

     There’s also another possibility. Sometimes we imagine a frog is much bigger than it is, but once we actually dig in, we see that we had built it up in our minds. It’s possible you might can finish that job much sooner than you had imagined.

6. Eliminate Little Toads

     Not only do we have bullfrogs – giant tasks – to complete, but we also have little toads – the small tasks that build up. These jobs may not be very time intensive, but they are just not our favorite thing to do, so we put them off. When we do this, we may start to imagine that they are bigger than they are.

     The more you stare at that toad, the bigger it looks! Also, if you put off eating toads, they start to pile up, and this can really become intimidating. When you see a toad that needs to be tended, take care of it as soon as possible! If you can’t do it right then, write it down and assign a time to do it as soon as possible. 

7. Keep Frogs from Hopping

     By writing down a frog or two each day in your planner and doing that first, you can keep these jobs from piling up and becoming unmanageable. It may be answering emails, making phone calls, paying bills, doing unattractive cleaning jobs, or any other number of things. Don’t let these frogs fill your plate! Get the jump on them before they take over.

     If you don’t have a planner that you are already using, I have one I’d love to give you! This planner comes with a challenge to help you build new habits in your life, and it would be a great way to start managing those frogs.

Simple Takeaway

  1. Identify your frogs, keep a master list of frog tasks, and start your day by eating at least one frog.
  2. Give thanks for frog tasks, recognizing that jobs to do and the strength to do them are both blessings from God!
  3. Don’t let the little toads stack up, and eat the giant toad tasks one bite at a time.

Let’s Chat!

     Had you heard about eating frogs before? Do you have any tips that help you stay on top of jobs that you don’t enjoy?

     Until next time, be grateful and, with the Lord’s strength, complete the tasks He has given you to do!

In Christ,

Bethany

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this refreshing and encouraging post!! I hadn’t heard about eating frogs before (at least not in this context 😉 ). But it’s a great way to remember this concept!! Thank you sharing! 😀

    1. I’m glad I could introduce you to eating frogs, Lauren! 🙂 Yes, the term is unique enough to help the concept stick, and it even works with children. I’m thankful the post was encouraging to you! Thank you for commenting!!

  2. Agape says:

    Really appreciated the following paragraph:
    “As you praise the Lord, your perspective will probably shift and your attitude change about this frog. It may still not be something you enjoy, but having a change of attitude and viewing it as a blessing is a wonderful way to prepare for the job and take your mind off yourself and put it on the Lord.”
    Thank you for writing, Bethany!

    1. Thank you for sharing what stood out to you, Agape! There is so much power in gratitude toward God, and I should remember that more. Thank you for commenting!

  3. Chloe says:

    I hadn’t heard the frog quote before. 🙂 I enjoyed this post! I often tend to put off what I don’t want to do, but the time before I get it done, isn’t as fully pleasant as it would be if I had already done the task or whatever it may be!

    1. Oh, isn’t that so true, Chloe? We put off what we should be doing for what we want to do, but not only do we not get done the things we need to, we can’t fully enjoy the fun things either. I’m so glad you enjoyed being introduced to the frog quote! 🙂

  4. I have a lot of to-do’s starting to pile up, and this post is just what I need! Thanks so much for these tips and encouragement, Bethany (especially the part about giving thanks; something I really want to work on and remember!) 🙂

    1. I completely understand the feeling of to-do’s piling up, and I’m so grateful this post could be a blessing to you, Lily! Giving thanks is something we should all do more. It’s a privilege God has given us as a way to praise Him and also be encouraged ourselves! So let’s thank and praise Him together!!
      I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high. Psalm 7:17

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