Frogs and Productivity

Frogs and Productivity
This post was previously published. It has been updated.

What do frogs have to do with productivity? As Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” It’s about getting those big things out of the way first thing.

But what about all the other stuff? What about the mundane chores? What about the things I convince myself are important (but really aren’t)? What about sitting and frittering my time away with a novel or game?

Several years ago I went through a Frog phase, partially due to my reading Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time*. Around the same time, a great little article about classifying things into quadrants (sadly, no longer available on the web) came across my blog reader.

The quadrants are as follows:

  • Things you don’t want to do, but don’t need to do = GNATS
  • Things you don’t want to do, but need to do = FROGS
  • Things you want to do and need to do = GEMS
  • Things you want to do but don’t need to = BUTTERFLIES

The mnemonic that went along with this article is great for remembering it: squash the gnats, eat the frogs, and stop chasing butterflies in your pursuit of the gems.

What a great take on productivity!