What to Wear Daily

Should you eat a live frog first thing in the morning?

If you hang around self-improvement or productivity blogs long enough you’ll inevitably hear the advice, attributed to Mark Twain: “the first thing you should do every morning is eat a live frog so you can know that it is the worst thing that will happen to you that day.” or some variation of it. This provocative statement is usually interpreted as meaning you should get your highest priority task done first. Sounds like good advice, right? But there are very real reasons why you might not want to do that task first.

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Actually, first off let’s get this out of the way: there is no evidence that Mark Twain said this.

Ok, now where were we? Oh yeah. Should we get that highest priority task done first? Is it that easy? Well, obviously if the task is a short one or one you can do yourself you should just do it. Just get ‘er done! (If you can’t get a task on your task list done then you have bigger problems) But if it’s a longer task or if it involves someone else then you might rationally choose to delay it for later. Here are some options:

So, to recap. Get the shorter, high priority tasks done first with no excuses. But for those longer tasks or tasks that involve other people, schedule them around times that make sense for the way that you work. And if you aren't sure when you work best, start paying attention so you'll know in the future and can start building your morning ritual.