I know I am guilty of procrastinating tasks that I don’t want to do, and as a result I often feel stressed for the rest of the day because I can feel it (or them) hanging over my head. Just saying “Tackle your biggest task first thing!” is all well and good, but very hard to actually do in practice.

This is a book that sits in eimagine’s book library, and is on the suggested reading list for employees. I picked it up at random one day several months ago to flip through over lunch. After just a glance, I knew that this was one I wanted to take a closer look at! Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy puts forth 21 key ideas for use in daily life, and while I expected that not all would resonate with me, I was pleasantly surprised how many actually of the tips actually did work for me.

Pros

Pros include the language the book was written in – I had half expected a boring, dry recitation of “ideas” supported by facts and figures like a college textbook, or alternatively, one of the business self-help books out there that seem to be written down to a 4th grade level, which I find just as hard to read. But Brian Tracy’s narration is lively and engaging, and gets straight to the point without either overwhelming the reader with buzzwords or speaking down to them.

The book provides a lot of simple life rules, explained in a clear manner, and at the end of each chapter summarizes action items to apply in a few bullet points of a sentence or two each for easy reference. Within the chapter he gives outlines of how exactly to apply the chapter’s lesson to your life in a clear step-by-step process, as opposed to leaving you to figure out how to apply the lesson yourself. For example, Chapter 2 talks about planning in advance each day, week, and month, and walks you through items to think about on your list and when the best time is to plan for the coming day/week/month.

I found the majority of the lessons (one per chapter, with each chapter going in-depth on that rule and the reasoning behind it) to be highly applicable to everyday life as well as professional life. Brian Tracy doesn’t pull his punches telling you how it is – for example, he clearly states in Chapter 17 (Get Out of Technological Time Sinks) that continuous contact (via email, text, phone, etc) is not essential, and that the world continues “revolving whether or not you are in continuous contact with it” and that “if it is really important, someone will tell you.” Hard truths like that make it easier to justify unplugging for a few hours in order to concentrate single-mindedly on a task (which is another lesson reiterated throughout the book).

Cons

This book was very beneficial, and I am glad I read it. However, I did find that there were some of the chapters/lessons that had limited or no use to me in particular (your experience may vary). For instance, Chapter 16 (Motivate Yourself into Action) read more like what I have come to expect from business self help books. It went all about the power of positive thinking, and how you need to resolve to be your own cheerleader, without any real substance in the chapter – while such tactics are of value, the advice is well worn and seemed overused to me. Chapter 20 (Develop a Sense of Urgency) was similar, and both chapters cover ideas that are done to death in business self help publications already.

Overall, I think that the book tends to weaken the further in chapters it goes, and I know that I got the most out of the first 14 chapters. I noticed that this was the Second Edition, and it proclaims it has 2 new chapters – in my opinion, a lot of the later chapters seemed to be reaching in an attempt to add content and pages, so I’m not sure how much value the additional chapters added. Especially as some of the later chapters could have been consolidated into fewer, as there seemed to be some overlap.

Conclusion

As with any piece of advice, the value you get out of it only equals the effort you put in. I highly recommend at least one read, with an open mind – and encourage you to pick and choose the advice that works for you. But most of all – stick to your guns and Eat that Frog!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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