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Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
– Mark Twain
Brian Tracy’s 5 minute YouTube video discusses a time management strategy that has changed many people’s lives (including mine!). This strategy involves organising your tasks by priority. It discusses time management in the context of the workplace, but the strategy is applicable to HPAT and high school/university study too. This blog summarises the key points.
This strategy is called ‘Eat that frog!’ and means tackling your biggest, most important task first. This idea comes from a story by Mark Twain. As Mark Twain said, if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that’s probably the worst thing you will do all day long.
Your frog is your biggest, ugliest task. This is the task that you are most likely to procrastinate on, but it is also the task that, when completed, is likely to have the greatest positive impact on your life at the moment. Examples of frogs may be completing a full length HPAT trial exam under timed conditions, making a HPAT study timetable or finishing an assignment in a subject you dislike. So do your worst first!
You should start by making a list of all things that you have to do. This should preferably be made the night before or first thing in the morning. Writing it down means you don’t need to worry that you’ll forget the important things. Never start tackling your tasks without a list – think on paper! Then go through the list and use the letters ‘ABCDE’ to prioritise each task:
Obviously, arranging your day like this isn’t easy – it takes discipline. It is probably much more enjoyable to do a task in categories B, C, D and E. However, you should immediately start with A tasks and stay with them until they are done, using your willpower and mental strength. Eat the whole frog and don’t stop till it’s finished completely! Using this method can double your productivity and therefore dramatically improve your school, university and HPAT results. Give it a go!