This is a preview of the Shortform book summary ofguide to
Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy.
Read Full SummaryRead Complete Guide

1-Page Summary1-Page Book Summary of Eat That Frog!Fast Summary of Shortform's Guide to Eat That Frog!

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.

If you’re able to get the most important things done consistently and efficiently, you can outperform the smartest person who fails to follow through. Mark Twain had a metaphor for getting hard things done: if you have to eat a live frog, do it right away and everything after that will be easier by comparison.

Your most important and consequential task—the one you’re most inclined to put off—is the frog.

Building on this insight, Tracy, a business consultant and trainer, offers practical tips gleaned from hundreds of books and articles for improving your productivity. Tracy tested the advice he read, and he compiled the most useful ideas. All are specific things you can do immediately to get results and be happier. Many of the ideas will also work in your personal life. The more quickly you apply these principles, the faster you’ll advance in your career.

Make It a Habit

To succeed, you need to develop success habits. The key one is overcoming procrastination and tackling your most important task. With diligent practice, it eventually becomes automatic.

Making a habit of getting your most important things done has two payoffs: immediate satisfaction and long-term success.

Doing hard tasks successfully sets up a positive feedback loop. Completing a big job releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel good. A secret of success is that you can get addicted to these endorphin-induced feelings of self-confidence and capability. Subconsciously, you aim to complete more such tasks because you’re addicted to success. It’s one of the keys to long-term success and living a happy life. When you have a success habit, it becomes easier to do the important things than to dodge them.

How to Get Things Done

Here’s a list of Tracy’s favorite strategies for improving your productivity by focusing on the most important thing. (Shortform note: Although the book doesn’t organize these strategies in any type of sequence or by theme, we have organized them thematically in the one-page summary to make them easier to follow. The full summary more closely follows the book’s organization.)

Prepare

1) Determine your goals: Determine what you want to accomplish, then write down your goals. There are seven steps for setting and achieving goals:

  • Define your goal: Determine your goals in conjunction with your boss, so you’re clear about what you’re aiming for/what’s expected and in what order.
  • Write it down: When you write down a goal, you make it real and concrete. A goal or objective that isn’t put into writing is short-lived.
  • List the steps for achieving it: It’s easier to achieve your goal when it’s broken into individual tasks.
  • Turn the list into a plan: Prioritize your tasks, and list things in the order they need to be done. With a written goal and a plan, you’ll be far more productive than if you had only a mental list.
  • Set a deadline for achieving it: Set an overall deadline plus sub-deadlines for steps toward your goal. A goal needs definite deadlines with specific responsibilities to be completed—otherwise, you’ll procrastinate and get little done.
  • Act on your plan: Just do something. Your plan may not be perfect, but it’s better to act on an average plan than to do nothing with a great plan.
  • Do something every day to advance your goal: Put it on your schedule. For example, make a certain number of cold calls or exercise for 45 minutes. Don’t miss a day. Keep pressing forward.

2) Create work-life balance: Determine the three things you do at work that account for the majority of the value you contribute. Also, set personal or life goals in three areas: financial/career, relationship/family, and health/fitness. Focus each day on completing the most important...

Want to learn the rest of Eat That Frog! in 21 minutes? Want to learn the ideas of Eat That Frog! better than ever?

Unlock the full book summary of Eat That Frog! by Unlock the full Shortform guide to Eat That Frog! by signing up for Shortform.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by: Shortform guides make you smarter by:

  • Being 100% comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book Being 100% crystal-clear: you learn important ideas written simply and clearly
  • Expanding beyond the book: we add smart analysis and teach ideas the book didn't cover.
  • Cutting out the fluff: you don't spend your time wondering what the author's point is. Respecting your time: we don't waste your time and we make every word count.
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.

READ FULL SUMMARY OF EAT THAT FROG! READ COMPLETE GUIDE TO EAT THAT FROG!

Here's a preview of the rest of Shortform's Eat That Frog! summary:guide:

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Preface

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...

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Introduction: Eat That Frog

If you’re able to do important things quickly, you can surpass someone with great plans who fails to follow through. 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.

Your most important task—the one you’re most inclined to put off—is the frog.

Here are the key things to know about frog-eating or accomplishing challenging tasks:

  • Completing your most important task contributes the most to your success.
  • If you have two important tasks, or two frogs to eat, eat the worst one first—that is, start with the hardest task.
  • Discipline yourself to start on the most important thing immediately and persevere to the end. Treat it as a personal challenge.
  • If you have to do something hard, or eat a live frog, it doesn’t help to dwell on it; just do it. Studies have shown that the most successful people are action-oriented—they jump right into big jobs and persevere until they’re done. In contrast, in many companies, there’s way...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Seizing a Frog

Author Brian Tracy argues that the key to success is developing the habit of getting your most important task done first. It’s like eating a live frog—if you do it right away, everything after that is easy by comparison.


Think of a big, important task you have been procrastinating on doing. What is it? What effect has your procrastination had?

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 1: Determine Your Goals

Before you can identify your most important task and jump into it, you need to know your goals and what actions will contribute the most to reaching them.

Understanding your goals and action steps makes it easier to beat procrastination and complete your top task. In contrast, people with vague goals lack motivation because they aren’t sure what they’re trying to achieve.

Furthermore, people with specific, written goals achieve far more than those who haven’t articulated their goals, yet only a handful of people have specific goals.

There are seven steps for setting and achieving goals. While doing just one of them could jump-start your productivity, implementing all of the steps could generate extraordinary results.

Steps for Success

1) Define your goal: Determine your goals in conjunction with your boss, so you’re clear about what you’re aiming for/what’s expected and in what order.

Many people spend their days doing trivial tasks because they haven’t clarified their goals with their boss. If you’re in this situation, you could be wasting your time trying to do...

Why people love using Shortform

"I LOVE Shortform as these are the BEST summaries I’ve ever seen...and I’ve looked at lots of similar sites. The 1-page summary and then the longer, complete version are so useful. I read Shortform nearly every day." "I LOVE Shortform as these are the BEST book guides I’ve ever seen...and I’ve looked at lots of similar sites. The 1-page overview and then the longer guide are so useful. I read Shortform nearly every day."
Jerry McPhee
Sign up for free

Shortform Exercise: Put Your Goals in Writing

Before you can identify your most important task and jump into it, you need to know your goals and what actions will contribute the most to reaching them.


List five things you want to accomplish. To make them more real, write them in the present tense as though you’ve already achieved them (example: I weigh xxx pounds by this date).

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 2: Plan Each Day

At work, you should try to get the maximum return on your investment of energy and time. The way to do this is by planning. A minute spent on planning could save you up to 10 minutes in implementation. This means taking 10 minutes to plan your day can save as much as two hours in wasted time and unfocused effort during your day.

Planning is so important that business and self-help books often quote the “Six-P” adage: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

Although planning your day increases your productivity and effectiveness, surprisingly few people do it, perhaps because it seems difficult. But in reality, planning is simple: On a sheet of paper, list everything you have to do.

Gain Two Hours a Day

Always keep a list. Whenever something comes up, add it to the list. When you work from a list, you can increase your productivity by 25%—two hours a day.

Each night, make a list for the next day. Include leftovers—unfinished or undone tasks from the day...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Make a List

Planning is as simple as making a list of the things you need to do. Create different lists and move items between them—you need a master list, plus monthly, weekly, and daily lists. Spending 10 minutes to plan your day in advance saves up to two hours in wasted time and effort during your day.


For your job or personal life, make a master to-do list of everything you can think of for the immediate future. Then, as appropriate, move items from your master list to a monthly list.

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 3: Prioritize—Live By the 80/20 Rule

You should complete the most important task—or eat the biggest frog—first. But the biggest task is the one most people put off. They focus on the least important items, which have little impact, in contrast to the most valuable one. Thus, many people are busy while accomplishing little.

The 80/20 rule developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto is the key to prioritizing.

Pareto noticed in 1895 that 20% of his country’s population accounted for 80% of its wealth. He interpreted this to mean that input doesn’t correspond directly with output. For example, the 80/20 rule states that as little as 20% of your tasks and effort will account for 80% of your results because some things are more important or contribute more to outcomes than others. It’s the difference between the “vital few” and the “trivial many.” In economic terms:

  • 80% or your sales will...

Want to read the rest of this
Book Summary Shortform Guide ?

With Shortform, you can:

Access 1000+ non-fiction book summaries. Access 1000+ non-fiction book guides.

Highlight what
you want to remember.

Access 1000+ premium article summaries. Access 1000+ topic and news guides.

Take notes on your
favorite ideas.

Read on the go with our iOS and Android App.

Download PDF Summaries. Download PDF Versions.

Sign up for free

Shortform Exercise: Prioritizing

According to the 80/20 rule, 20% of your effort produces 80% of your results. Focusing on the few most important things will have the greatest impact, yet most people focus on the “trivial many” (the 80%).


Take a look at your tasks and activities for today or tomorrow. Which tasks are you most inclined to do first and why?

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 4: Weigh the Consequences

You can determine how important a task is by considering the consequences of doing or not doing it. This can help you determine what frog to eat, or what to do next.

According to a Harvard researcher, taking a long-term view is the biggest predictor of success. It’s more important than family, connections, or education.

How far ahead you think affects your decisions and actions. People who take a short-term view opt for immediate gratification; they tend to focus on relieving present tension and drudgery this way. Successful people delay short-term gratification, and focus on achieving longer-term goals for their career and life. Because they’re future-oriented, they consider how their current options will contribute to the future they desire. As a result, they make better decisions—use their time better—than those who give the future little thought.

At work, knowing what’s important to you in the long term helps you make better decisions about your priorities in the present. The important things have significant long-term consequences; the unimportant things have few long-term consequences. Activities with significant long-term impact might include taking courses to...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Consider the Consequences

Considering the consequences can help you determine your most important task. Tasks with the greatest consequences are the most important; tasks with few consequences are unimportant.


Look at your to-do list for today or this week (or make a list). What are the long-term consequences of each task on your list? In other words, what impact will each have on the future?

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 5: Be a Creative Procrastinator

Most people procrastinate unconsciously or without thinking about it. As a result of not thinking, they put off important tasks that can have significant long-term consequences in their lives and careers.

However, there’s another kind of procrastination you should practice: creative procrastination, during which you consciously decide not to do certain things. You put them on the back burner, so you can focus on more important things instead.

**Since you have too much to do, you really have no choice but to...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Procrastinate on Purpose

Most people procrastinate unconsciously and end up putting off the most important things. Instead, you should intentionally procrastinate on things of little importance so you can get the big things done.


Think about your tasks and responsibilities for today or this week. What small tasks can you put off doing now? Which ones can you eliminate entirely or delegate?

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 6: Prioritize Your To-Do List

You’ll get more and more-important things done faster if you effectively plan and set priorities. The ABCDE method is a tool for prioritizing. Here’s how it works. On paper, list everything you have to do for the next day. Next, rank each item by marking it with an A, B, C, D, or E, as follows:

A: Use an A to designate tasks that are very important. They are tasks that you must do—not doing them will have serious negative consequences. For instance, an “A” task might be something your boss directed you to do, or it could be visiting a top customer. If you have multiple tasks of this level, prioritize by...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Try the ABCDE Method

The ABCDE method is a way of organizing your tasks. “A” is for must-do tasks; “B” is for should-do tasks; “C” is for things it would be nice to do; “D” is for those you can delegate; and “E” for things you can eliminate.


Go over your current activities and tasks and give each one a label from A to E.

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 7: Focus on Results

Everyone is hired to produce specific results in several key areas. You need to know your key areas and expectations because your success and the company’s depend on delivering these results.

Most people get the concept of focusing on results, but they still have one of two problems:

  • They’re unsure of the results they’re supposed to produce and are being measured by.
  • They procrastinate on doing things in certain key areas important to the company and their career because they’re not good at doing those things.

Your key areas are things you’re responsible for accomplishing—if you don’t do them, no one does. For example, key result areas for managers and salespeople are:

  • Manager: planning, hiring, delegating, supervising, evaluating, and reporting
  • Salesperson: prospecting, building customer relationships, making offers, handling objections, closing sales, and getting referrals

It’s crucial to know what your key areas are and the expected...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Your Results

Everyone is hired to produce specific results in a half-dozen or so key areas. You need to know your key areas and expectations because your success depends on delivering these results.


Identify the key deliverables of your job; grade yourself on each one on a 1-10 scale.

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 8: Create Work-Life Balance

Determining your three most important tasks for your job and the three most important things in your personal life can help you achieve balance and be happier and more satisfied.

Out of everything you do at work, there are likely to be three tasks that, in total, account for the majority of the value you contribute. To perform your best and make your maximum contribution, you need to identify these key tasks and focus on them. Anything not directly related to these tasks should be put on the back burner, delegated, or eliminated.

Focusing on the few tasks that contribute the most to your company will increase your results and your value. When you’re worth more to your company, your compensation will increase. You may even find that you’re working fewer hours because you’re not wasting time chasing a lot of unimportant things.

Your Life Goals

Focusing on the most...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Identify Your Goals

Identifying and focusing on the three most important tasks for your job and the three most important things in your personal life can help you achieve work-life balance and be happier.


Identify your top three work tasks. If you could do only one thing at work, what would contribute the greatest value to your company and career? What’s the second most important thing and the third.

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapters 9-10: Be Fully Prepared and Take One Step at a Time

To make it easier to get focused and keep going on an important task, make sure you have everything you’ll need in front of you before you begin, so you’re not distracted by looking for things later. There are probably countless projects that never get done because people fail to prepare for the job in advance.

It’s like preparing to cook something—you assemble the ingredients and utensils on your counter before you start so you don’t have to look for something in the middle of following the recipe. Once you start your work task, you need to be able to keep going with interruption.

Clear your desk by setting aside unrelated work so you have only one task in front of you. Assemble all the documents and materials you’ll need and keep them within easy reach. Ensure that your work area is comfortable and as distraction-free as possible. The cleaner and more organized it is, the easier it will be to get started and work efficiently.

Once everything is ready, start immediately....

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Step by Step

The best way to overcome procrastination and make a big job doable is to focus on completing it one step at a time.


Think of a task or goal you’ve been procrastinating on. Make a list of every step or action you’ll need to take to complete this task.

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 11: Build Your Skills

Continually upgrading your skills is one of the most important ways to increase your productivity and advance your career. Determine what you need to learn in order to do your job better and then learn it.

Developing your skills has multiple benefits:

  • It gives you confidence and motivation to plunge into challenging tasks without hesitation and get them done.
  • It enables you to avoid procrastination. A major reason for procrastinating is feeling inadequate in a key area. Weakness in one area can be enough to keep you from starting a task.
  • Upgrading your skills is a time saver. The better you are at something, the faster you are at getting it done. One additional skill or piece of...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapter 12: Identify Your Biggest Limitation

In every effort, there’s always a major constraint or limitation that hinders your progress on completing your task or achieving your goal.

It can be internal or external. It can even be personal—everyone has limiting factors.

There are always multiple factors creating friction, but one is greater than the others.

It’s critical to identify the constraint that’s holding you, your project, or the company back. Removing it will make a bigger difference in how quickly you achieve your goal than almost anything else you do.

Potential bottlenecks can be:

1) External: Outside factors affecting your ability to accomplish your goal include competitors, the market, customers, and the government. For instance, customers may have a false perception of your product that's hindering sales. An external factor will turn out to be your biggest constraint only about 20%...

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Shortform Exercise: Overcoming Limitations

In every effort, there’s always a major constraint or limiting factor somewhere that hinders your progress on completing your task or achieving your goal. Finding and removing it is crucial to your success.


Think of a task at work or a goal you’re trying to achieve. List the main factors affecting how quickly you accomplish this task. They could be internal (inside your company), external, or personal.

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapters 13-14, 19: Motivate Yourself

You create your emotions by how you talk to yourself. What you tell yourself about people and situations determines whether they motivate or discourage you.

One way to motivate yourself is to choose to be an optimist. Respond positively to whatever happens and don’t let typical daily frustrations get you down. Be your own cheerleader and coach: use your inner voice to encourage and urge you to excel.

Constantly talk to yourself positively to boost your self-esteem, which is what motivates you.

Repeat to yourself, “I have what it takes” to build confidence and overcome doubt. When people ask how you are, respond, “I feel great” regardless of how you feel or how things are going. You have the ability to choose your attitude in any circumstance: choose to be positive.

Don’t complain or talk about your problems because it puts you in a negative mindset, and it won’t get you any sympathy. As a humorist once said, 80% of people don’t care about your problems and the other 20% are secretly happy you have them.

See the Positive Side

Based on a 22-year study at the University of Pennsylvania, Martin Seligman wrote in Learned Optimism that optimism is the most...

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Shortform Exercise: Be an Optimist

What you tell yourself about setbacks determines whether they motivate or discourage you. Choose to be an optimist. Respond positively to whatever happens. Optimists are more successful in most areas of life.


What was the worst or most frustrating thing that happened at work this week? How did it turn out?

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapters 15-16: Master Technology

Technology has enormous benefits, but if you don’t take control of it, it may end up controlling you.

Many people feel compelled to be in constant touch, which keeps them reacting to a never-ending stream of messages rather than choosing whether and when to respond and controlling their own schedule. Immediately upon waking up, they check their phone messages and notifications. This continues throughout the day until bedtime. One study showed that people check their devices 85 times a day. They check twice as often as they think they do, according to another study.

It adds up to wasted time, a feeling of not being in control, and more stress about what’s not getting done. And no matter how often you check for messages, they keep coming in. But the fact that someone sends you an email doesn’t mean you owe them your time.

Apply the 80/20 rule to your messages and email. As many as 80% are unimportant and you can Ignore, delete, unsubscribe, or block them. Most of the remaining 20% can probably be put off, which leaves only around 5% requiring an immediate response. Ignore anything not relevant to your priority tasks and relationships.

There are...

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Chapters 17-20: Stay Focused

While technology is critical to time management—it can either help you manage your time or encourage you to waste it—it has another impact on your productivity that must be managed: It can undermine your ability to stay focused.

You have to stay focused in order to get anything important done well. But there are two big threats to your concentration: interruptions—especially emails, texts, and notifications—and attempts to multitask.

Research indicates that the habit of responding to emails, texts, and calls results in a shorter attention span and lack of focus which make it difficult or impossible to complete the kinds of tasks vital to your success.

When you get email alerts, message alerts, and social media notifications, they can give you a “buzz” or shot of [restricted term], which spurs you to respond. It’s like reacting to the sound of a slot machine alerting you to a win. When you start your day by responding to notifications and alerts, it triggers a [restricted term] burst and sets the tone for the rest of your day—you continue to have difficulty focusing.

The Myth of Multitasking

Many people believe they can multitask or simultaneously handle incoming...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Shortform Exercise: Sharpen Your Focus

To get anything important done well, you need to focus your attention on it. But often, people’s attention is scattered and interrupted, especially with constant messages and social media.


Describe your typical morning at work. What do you do first? How many tasks do you start and compete? How often are you interrupted?

Try Shortform for free

Read full summary of Eat That Frog! Read full guide to Eat That Frog!

Sign up for free

Eat That Frog! Summary Eat That Frog! Guide Conclusion

Developing the habit of doing your most important task, or eating your biggest frog, the first thing each work day primes you for success. Anyone can learn to do it. Following the rules laid out in this book can you develop the habit and get on the road to success faster. Here’s a quick-reference guide:

Summary: How to Get Things Done

1) Determine your goals: Determine what you want to accomplish, then write down your goals.

2) Plan each day: On a sheet of paper, list everything you have to do. A minute spent planning can save 10 in implementation.

3) Live by the 80/20 rule: 20% of your efforts will produce 80% of your results. Focus on doing the few things that make the most difference.

4) Weigh the consequences: The most important thing you can do is the one with the biggest consequences or greatest impact. Determine which thing that is and do it first.

5) Be a creative procrastinator: Since you can’t do everything, you have to put off or eliminate something. Procrastinate on small things...

What Our Readers Say

This is the best summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned all the main points in just 20 minutes. This is the best guide to How to Win Friends and Influence People I've ever read. I learned the ideas better and got new insights than when I first read the book.
Learn more about our summaries →Learn more about our content →

Table of Contents

  • 1-Page Summary
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Eat That Frog
  • Exercise: Seizing a Frog
  • Chapter 1: Determine Your Goals
  • Exercise: Put Your Goals in Writing
  • Chapter 2: Plan Each Day
  • Exercise: Make a List
  • Chapter 3: Prioritize—Live By the 80/20 Rule
  • Exercise: Prioritizing
  • Chapter 4: Weigh the Consequences
  • Exercise: Consider the Consequences
  • Chapter 5: Be a Creative Procrastinator
  • Exercise: Procrastinate on Purpose
  • Chapter 6: Prioritize Your To-Do List
  • Exercise: Try the ABCDE Method
  • Chapter 7: Focus on Results
  • Exercise: Your Results
  • Chapter 8: Create Work-Life Balance
  • Exercise: Identify Your Goals
  • Chapters 9-10: Be Fully Prepared and Take One Step at a Time
  • Exercise: Step by Step
  • Chapter 11: Build Your Skills
  • Chapter 12: Identify Your Biggest Limitation
  • Exercise: Overcoming Limitations
  • Chapters 13-14, 19: Motivate Yourself
  • Exercise: Be an Optimist
  • Chapters 15-16: Master Technology
  • Chapters 17-20: Stay Focused
  • Exercise: Sharpen Your Focus
  • Conclusion