by Lisa Illman | Featured Contributor
Mark Twain’s famous saying of eating a live frog every morning to get your most dreaded task out of the way has become an important step in my life. What exactly is a live frog? According to Twain, it is that one important item you should do that you might put off because you’d rather not do it. Examples of my frogs have been exercising, calling an unhappy client, organizing my desk, making a doctor’s appointment and even taking time to meditate. It is that one “to do” on my list that must get done today or tomorrow will feel much heavier. Over time, the payoffs of frog eating have given way to a normal routine of tackling dreaded tasks first. Here are the big picture rewards that continue to compel me to prioritize my day with toughest task first
- Eliminate Procrastination
Probably the most obvious reward to taking one of the hardest tasks first is the elimination of procrastination. Defined in the dictionary as postponing or delaying an activity, procrastination can result in a number of poor consequences. There is the heavy feeling of something looming overhead when an activity is delayed, but other adverse results can also add up. If your frog is paying bills, the late fees that start to accumulate with late bill paying makes eating that frog a definite plus! If getting to the gym is your frog, then the lack of exercise of not doing this important step is the negative result. Procrastination is a heavy burden, eating frogs can quickly eliminate this pesky foe!
- Reduce Anxiety
As frogs start to build on your to do list, so does the anxious tension that accumulates in your life. Fear and worry are like a Cancer; they multiply and feed each other. Taking whatever important step towards a day free from anxiety is not only good for you, but also for the people around you. Frog eating is one activity that can literally transform anxiety into serenity.
- Generate Rewards
When frogs are big and juicy, squirmy and especially tough to choke down; I make it a point to have a big reward waiting. Rewarding frog eating is a great motivator for anyone who hasn’t been eating her frogs for sometime. In the past, when procrastination has gotten the best of me, I took the time to make a list. I wrote out two columns, one column titled FROG the other REWARD. For each task, I assigned an award; the harder the task, the bigger the reward. Rewards do not have to be big expensive items that might hurt your wallet. They can be anything from afternoon naps to café mochas in the park after lunch. Perhaps an extended lunch with a friend or if the wallet does allow, a new scarf or an hour massage. You get the idea; make it special, nurturing and something that you do not get to do everyday. Have fun with your frogs and gifts!
- Clear the Mind
Stop the monkey chatter going on in your head! Plain and simple. When foreboding chores begin to lessen, the burden that is lifted is huge. The bigger the frog, the greater the relief and with relief comes a clear head. Peace of mind is priceless; with one big gulp, worry and fear can be wiped out.
- Promote Good Healthy Living
The listed benefits of getting busy with your most dreaded tasks add up to one big bonus; a healthier lifestyle. By eliminating procrastination from your life, reducing stress, clearing your mind and creating a rewarding schedule, good living will naturally follow.
Eating the frog has become the most productive approach to my day. If I ever get off track and stray from this simple concept, I immediately put together a list of things that need to get done. One day at a time, each frog is crossed off my list and the heavy burden of delay is released. Most evenings before I go to bed, I ask myself “what is the one thing I need to do tomorrow if I do nothing else?” -that is usually my frog.
Lisa Illman is the president and founder of Kritter Kommunity. Born in 2009 out of her passion for pets, Lisa’s vision for Kritter Kommunity was inspired by her kitty cats, Madison and Abigail. With very little cash to start her business, Lisa and her cat Abigail started blogging and tweeting to gain product exposure. They were able to take 100 orders before their new product was even available. A social media enthusiast today, Lisa and her cat Abigail still post and tweet regularly; they have over 15k pet loving followers on Twitter.
This was just the beginning of Lisa’s journey as an entrepreneur, inventor and writer for the pet industry. Coming out of the gate with no experience starting a business, Lisa took bold steps without knowing which would be mistakes, and which would take her to the next level of success. Tenacity and passion gave her the courage to pitch her own products to media contacts and landed them on many media outlets like Good Morning America. Relationship building and writing put her in a position to develop a solid reputation with the social media world of pet lovers; her furry muses cheering her every step of the way!
Hands on experience, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Pennsylvania State University, more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience, and numerous professional awards, Lisa has a strong foundation as she continues her journey as an entrepreneur, inventor and writer. She inspires others to capitalize on their interests through coaching and writing.