Create momentum by swallowing a frog every day

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I hope you all are having a great start to your new year!

I have noticed a marked difference in my business output and general mood by implementing a concept a learned from my friend Charlie Gilkey, called swallowing a frog. It refers to taking care of the non-glamorous, but very necessary tasks that are required to run a solid business.

Watch my short video to learn how swallowing frogs in December has led to a very productive January! (direct link to YouTube video here)

And on a related note, if you want a little boost to planning your year, Charlie and I are hosting a free call on Thursday, January 13 about how to break down your massive list of what you want to get done this year (including frogs!) into tangible, actionable and manageable steps. Sign up here.

To swallowing frogs!

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27 Responses to “Create momentum by swallowing a frog every day”

  1. This great advice appears in the book “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy. A great strategy to follow to get those less than pleasant things done first thing!

  2. […] first heard this from Pam Slim, and she got it from Charlie Gilkey, who took it from Mark […]

  3. […] to become stale-dated, because that would be supremely embarrassing. Plus, Pam Slim told me to swallow a frog. So I gathered my stuff on my desk and I looked at it. Then I looked at it some more. Then instead […]

  4. […] done, frees up a whole lot of mental space to do more meaningful things. Like Pam Slim says, if you swallow a frog every day, you can create momentum in your […]

  5. […] the morning and nothing worse can happen to you all day” is even used as management advice, or to boost productivity. I don’t think this counsel was ever meant to be taken literally. It’s more of a guideline […]

  6. Rob Place says:

    Pam, thanks for the advice and good metaphor. Do you use suggest any particular project management or productivity software to help you manage your time (and swallow the frogs)?

  7. Back To Wow says:

    I gotta say, I love frog legs…but swallowing daily frogs is much less tasty. Great post and hit me at the perfect time. I have just started my adventure out of cubicle nation, and am loving every second!

  8. Craig says:

    I love this advice, because I find that when I don’t do the tasks I don’t enjoy, I find they weigh on my mind, and create a slightly guilty and ‘off’ feeling. I think it comes down to discipline, that if we are too dependent of only the ‘nice’ things, the work that we enjoy, our ability is unbalanced, and it will make us feel low, and slow us down, over the long haul.

  9. Joanna Swan says:

    Hi Pam! Thanks for the inspiring video and post. The first frog I’ve swallowed this year is implementing GTD…collection, collection, collection (not to mention process, organize, et c…)
    Do you use the Getting Things Done program? I know your frog-ingestion is more down the business and logistics alley but I feel like a good organizational system is SO key, and ultimately, quite delicious as well!

    I’m new to GTD, serious regular blogging, and starting a business but am motivated to really accomplish in this fab new year. It’s great to have found so many independent and lovely people writing about their passions and, most importantly, helping others. Hope I can give back some of the same!
    Best wishes,
    Joanna Swan @ Stoveless

  10. […] More Business Buzz: Create momentum by swallowing a frog every day […]

  11. Marnie says:

    Thanks so much for this great reminder. I am the WORST one for putting things off that don’t particularly appeal to me. I want to get straight to the good stuff – like writing. Great video!

  12. This makes waaaaaaaaaay too much sense.

  13. Suzanne Summerwill says:

    Pam–Really got a lot from the Teleconference today (1/13/11)! Will definitely listen in again as the advice/discussion was succinct, open and bottom line helpful. Particularly enjoyed the advice on steps to getting a business up within 6 months: I find myself stuck on what to name my coaching business: my own name versus a brand or descriptive. Wish that had come up! It seems to be about 50/50 for preference.

  14. Lexi Rodrigo says:

    So… delegating something counts as swallowing a frog? In that case, I just swallowed a huge frog: I recently hired a bookkeeper, after months of struggling with it myself.
    I’m now going to be on the lookout for more frogs I can eat up. Burp!

  15. Riya Sam says:

    Hi Pam,

    I loved the name for your new concept “swallowing the frogs”, its so true that we avoid all small tasks that need to be done by categorizing them in the ‘less urgent’ list and before we know it, there’s a huge list of these less urgent things piling up! It’s very important to take these into consideration as and when they need attention. Thanks for sharing!

    Riya Sam
    Training for

  16. why not let others handle the ugly frogs while you focus on swallowing candy? the good stuff you enjoy working on…

  17. Strange name for a concept, but a great concept nonetheless! Thanks!

  18. Absolutely right Pam. Years ago I was told to look at your list of “to dos” for the day (we do still all make those don’t we?) and tackle the most difficult or unpleasant ones first thing in the morning.

    It does make a difference to how I feel all day. If I’ve dealt with the unpleasant items, I can relax and get an early sense of accomplishment. If I don’t tackle them, I have a nagging worry/guilt feeling subliminally gnawing at me.

  19. Great visual to really keep the point memorable. Ew!

  20. lilalia says:

    Love the expression “swallowing a frog”, for that really create a great image in my mind. I was always told that mornings are for most people a time of creativity, afternoons a time for organisation and getting common consensus in a group. So, I’ve decided to swallow my frogs in the afternoon when I can stomach them.

  21. Ihilani says:

    This is awesome advice and I need to be constantly reminded of this! I think the energy comes from not having these unpleasant tasks hanging over your head all the time. Just stumbled across your blog. Love it!

  22. Caleb says:

    I swallow frogs by cleaning out my inbox of all the back-end administration type emails while rocking out to my latest favorite music. Listening to music helps me get through the mundane part of work and life.

    I had a week off from work between Christmas and New Years which allowed me swallow a lot of frogs I’d be putting off all year (even one that had been on my to do list for 9 months!).

    For me the best way to swallow frogs to write them all down and just start at the top. It doesn’t really matter if you have the motivation to do them or not, just get them done so you don’t have waste time thinking about them anymore.

  23. Amber says:

    I have a lot of frogs from last year that I still haven’t swallowed. I clearly need to get on that. They’re holding me back, and I know it.

    But, yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

    I guess I don’t have to like it, as long as I do it, right?

  24. Adam Harlow says:

    I really enjoyed your advice Pam on swallowing the frog. I feel the same way. I have been trying to do this for the last couple of weeks and it as made thinks a lot better in my life. I did not have really cool name for it but now I do. “Swallow the frog”. By doing this It has helped my feel less overwhelmed and more accomplished. It is wonderful. Great video by the way.

  25. Fred Leo says:

    Great advice Pam. I find myself putting off these frogs from time to time. It is amazing how I carry around these undone tasks and allow them to create stress for me out for so long. It seems like I usually hit a breaking point at some time and eventually do them. Then, it is an amazing feeling to get them off the to do list.

  26. M. A. Tohami says:

    I learned this lesson from my mentor Jim Cathcart. He taught me that the difference between successful people and average people is that successful people do WHAT needs to be done, WHEN it needs to be done, whether they like it or not!