What Is Eat That Frog About? Boosting Productivity

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is Eat That Frog about? How did Brian Tracy come up with the ideas in his book?

Mark Twain had a metaphor for getting hard things done: if you have to eat a live frog, do it right away so that everything after that is easier by comparison. So, what is Eat That Frog about? It’s about learning to better prioritize and manage your time.

Keep reading for the answer to the question: what is Eat That Frog about?

What Is Eat That Frog About?

You’ll never get caught up or get ahead on everything you have to do, author Brian Tracy contends in Eat That Frog. There isn’t enough time in the day to meet all of the work and personal responsibilities you’re swamped with, let alone keep up with email, social media, projects, and all the books and articles you’ve been meaning to read.

Relying on productivity tools isn’t the answer because no matter how much time you save, there are more than enough incoming tasks to fill it. The only way to take charge of your time is to ignore most things—instead, focus on your most important task first and do it quickly and well

Tracy, a business speaker, trainer, and consultant, read hundreds of books and articles on time management and efficiency and tried many of the ideas. Eat That Frog compiles the most useful ideas, in no particular order: You can implement any idea at any time. When implemented in their entirety, they can transform your career and life.

Success Can Be Learned 

Tracy grew up with few advantages and wasn’t good in school. With no specific plan, he spent his early adulthood traveling and earning money as a laborer; later, he began working in sales, with little success.

Finally, he did something that changed his life—he started asking successful people what they did to be more productive and earn more than most people. He did what they told him to do and his sales took off. Simply applying what he learned changed his life. 

The same process can work for anyone: Figure out and do what successful people do until you get results too; learn from experts. Successful people aren’t intrinsically better than anyone else—they do better because they use their time more effectively.

Within a year of applying the lessons he learned, Tracy became a top salesman in his company. A year after that, he became a manager and within three years, a vice president in charge of a sales force spanning six countries—when he was just 25 years old.

The Key Insight

So, what is Eat That Frog about? Tracy discovered that the key to success is to focus on your most important task and do it quickly and well, just like Mark Twain’s metaphor. 

He offers practical tips building on that insight for personal effectiveness. The book doesn’t delve into psychology, research, or theory—it focuses on specific things you can do immediately to get results and be happier. Each idea is aimed at boosting your performance and value. Many of the ideas also can work in your personal life. 

The more quickly you put these principles into practice, the faster you’ll advance in your career.

What Is Eat That Frog About? Boosting Productivity

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Brian Tracy's "Eat That Frog!" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Eat That Frog! summary:

  • What it means to eat a frog
  • How your daily distractions get in the way of doing important work first
  • How to make a habit of doing the most important thing first, every day

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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