Complete the Biggest Challenges First, MITs

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"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." --Mark Twain


Who wants to eat one frog, let alone two!!!

(Yes, I know, some people relish those frog legs. I am definitely not one to join them but to each their own. My frogs don't need wheelchairs.)

But the point that Twain, one of my favorite writers, was making was that you should take care of your MITs, aka most important tasks, first.


Well, for starters, most people find that their energy levels are highest when they begin their work day. And so you tackle those bigger challenges before you begin to feel drained.

But just as important, you build a feeling of accomplishment when you eat the biggest frog first. Then, looking at your plate, the remaining jobs seem less in comparison. Many people find it actually builds momentum for the rest of the day.

My oldest son often coached his younger siblings to avoid eating their favorite food on the plate first. His reasoning was similar.

If you eat the favorite first, you are left with the feeling of wishing you had more of that one. The others just aren't as good now as they might have been.

But, if you choose to eat from least favorite to most, now you savor each bit of that favorite part of the meal.

And isn't that why dessert is usually served after the main meal?

(confession: On rare occasions, we will actually have a small dessert first. It just seems like we are breaking some incredible law, but then it brings about some good memories, too.)

But his point is well-taken. If your plate contains some foods you love and some you wish were on someone else's, eating those you love first puts you at risk of facing those dreaded foods when you are least hungry.

Of course, it's not always possible to schedule your biggest challenge first. The introvert in me would much rather write than make phone calls. But I can't call people when I first get up (I'm usually up well before the sun shines) so I have to schedule around that concern.

Sometimes those smaller tasks need to be done to lead up to the larger ones. And that's ok.

But I try to look at my day's plan with the frog scenario in mind. Or rather, like my son suggests, start with the least favorite, which of course is the biggest challenge in most cases.

If I can get some of those more challenging tasks, those least favorites, out of the way, then the rest of my day seems easier.

How do you schedule your day?

Do you try to complete your MITs first?

Or do you prefer to enjoy your favorites, savoring them along the way, perhaps hoping that those dreaded tasks will take care of themselves? I've had those days. Probably more often than I want to admit. But they don't work out well for me.

Some people claim that doing their favorite tasks first actually sets the stage for the energy to do those less appetizing ones later. If that works for them, then it's perfect for their life.

"Putting first things first means organizing and executing around your most important priorities. It is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by the agendas and forces surrounding you." --Stephen Covey

The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

----Stephen Covey

Wishing you a

wonderfully happy and productive day!

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Recent Comments


According to schedule as that normally as with you cintains the priorities too!! haha

Do not see how people don;t Diane as how does one accomplish anything worthwile as you rightly say if the don't.

An adaptable schedule at that as sometimes things happen that are not in it only which must be dealt within the scheduled run!!;

Have a great day!


Yes, adaptable is also necessary for most of us, Rami. My life rarely sticks to a set schedule. I try, at least. 😏

Thanks- Have a great day!

You are most welcome my lady!!

Our best is all we can possibly do!!;) You too!!;

Thanks for sharing this encouraging post.

You are welcome, Pat.
Enjoy your day!

Frog legs taste like chicken.

I am not a morning person. If I have to work in the morning I try to do the things I can do on cruise control without thinking about it too much. Even if it's not too early to call people I don't. I would rather not talk to anybody until I get a burst of energy. Except for this morning. I wish they were already open so I could call them about the cable guy not showing up yesterday. A lot of times you can get something close to what you want from a customer service people if you take an extremely aggresive adversarial attitude.

Anybody want to bet i don't get them to take something off of my bill?

LOL-- should I feel sorry for the customer rep you speak with today?

NO. The cable company has Americans so at least they speak English but they act like the robots I have to go through before I get one of them on the line. Even after I tell them the problem they want to go through "standard procedure." They are lucky to even have a job. A lot of companies have robots only.

"Eat that Frog" is a great motivational book that you have reminded me of in this wise post Diane. There is much to be said for this approach in tandem with a business routine.

Have a great day.


Yes, great reference book, Trevor. Thanks!

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