Procrastination burdens the young women we work with, and it’s an important topic to discuss and help your mentee find tools to address. Have you ever heard the saying: “If you eat a live frog every morning, nothing worse can happen to both of you for the rest of the day”? Well, the “eat the frog” method possibly comes from that saying.

“Eat the frog” encourages you to get a difficult or unpleasant task out of the way first. If you are a procrastinator, “eat the frog first” might help you get going. No, it’s not a real frog. The frog is the biggest thing that you need to get done. The thing we most avoid. The homework your mentee hasn’t started yet. Or the next big step she needs to take on the way there. Here is an exercise for you to do with your mentee. 

Helping your mentee to “eat the frog”

  • Identify your frog: write down the day’s hardest, most important task. Just pick one!
  • Eat it! Do your most important task first thing in the morning – don’t give yourself the chance to put it off for later. 
  • Repeat tomorrow! Every day you take this approach you will find the frog getting smaller, and your achievements getting bigger!

How to Eat the Frog – Learn from the Elephant

Different people may find that there are different ways that help them to get on with the task. Here, another saying might help: “How do we eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. Breaking big, scary tasks into manageable pieces can make them much less overwhelming. 

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Understand what you are doing – what is the task? Are you clear about your goal? When is your deadline?
  • Start breaking it into small pieces:
    • What’s really needed to accomplish this? Help you might need, tasks, timelines.
    • How can I chop it up into small digestible bites?
    • If it’s still overwhelming, can I chop it up further?
    • How long is each piece going to take?
    • What order do they need to come in?
  • Review your pieces, and make your plan of attack!
  • Start eating! 
  • And when you have finished, review it. What went well? What didn’t? Over time, we better understand how we can approach tasks effectively. 

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