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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

Eat the frog already

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

Many years ago, an older, braver cousin told me, “If you have to eat a frog, you don’t want to stare at it too long.” At the time, I was trying to work up the nerve to barrel down a steep hill at the halfway point of an 8-hour adventure race that I had ill-advisedly signed myself up for with almost no experience on a mountain bike. Dread formed a knot in my stomach and rose through my chest and throat as I stared down the hill imagining all the ways I could gravely injure myself.

The quip stuck with me and I think of it often when I am procrastinating something intimidating or unpleasant. While the corporate workplace may not require a helmet, it’s still littered with frogs. Any task that is both time-intensive and anxiety-provoking has the potential to derail your momentum.

It turns out my cousin was right. Whether bombing down a hill or cranking out performance evaluations, the longer you procrastinate, the more pain you feel. Not only do you have the suffering of doing the darn thing, but you also have the added pain from anticipating just how miserable it will be. And if you put it off long enough, you get an extra helping of shame and maybe even panic as the deadline draws near.

As you tackle your to do list today, ask yourself: What frog can I eat today as a kindness to my future self tomorrow?

 

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