Book Review – Eat That Frog!

9:59:00 pm

It’s time for a book review!! And before you ask, it’s not a sponsored one :-).

The book for the day is ‘Eat That Frog!’ by Brian Tracy. If you’re wondering what’s making me review a book released in 2001, it’s because this book is amazing. Yup, no other way to describe it. It’s a small, thin book with an absolutely unglamorous cover picture of a frog.

If you’ve been my regular reader you’ll know that I struggle with time management issues. Particularly more in recent years and it’s been on my New Year resolutions list in 2012 and 2013. I get a lot of advice regarding this and I’ve read a lot of blogs too, but all the information just feels scattered, and at times confusing.

But this, this book has cleared all the confusion. Brian Tracy starts with the basic tip from Mark Twain that if you eat a frog first thing in the morning, then there’s nothing stopping you from having a great day after that :-).

I wasn’t expecting all that much from the book initially, as the whole ‘eating a frog’ seemed like some new age nonsense that didn’t really apply in real life. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The best thing about this book is that it actually tells you what you should do. It doesn’t just spout philosophy after philosophy about dreams and hope. It gives solid, practical advice that applies to pretty much every one – students, employees, stay at home Moms, entrepreneurs etc.

Brian Tracy outlines 21 steps you can take to go one step further towards achieving your goals. Of course, the first one is outlining your goals. Each step is a separate chapter and starts with a quote and goes on to describe the details of that step in a concise manner. No long winded discourses or interviews with famous people here.

This book is really inspiring without using the same old tired clichés of self help books like ‘You can do it!’ or ‘Now’s your time!’. C’mon, you have to accept that ‘Eat That Frog!’ is quite novel compared to the rest :-).

Here are my top 5 of the 21 steps outlined in the book:

1. Set the Table – You have to first know what you want and what you might need to get that. The basic, goal setting step.

2. Consider the Consequences – Every moment is a choice waiting to be made. You can decide if you want that moment to result in a happy consequence or an unhappy one.

3. Identify Your Key Constraints – Everyone has some constraint, some bottleneck that’s not letting their full productivity to come through. Identify that and you’ve made a huge leap.

4. Take It One Oil Barrel at a Time – When a task seems long and as if it’s stretching into the horizon, don’t despair but take it one step at a time, you’ll eventually get there.

5. Motivate Yourself into Action – Sometimes, you just have to push yourself. There’s not going to be anyone to take that responsibility, so you’ll have to take the initiative and just move!!

My only grouse with the book would be that a few of the steps appear to be repetitive, with the same idea expressed a little differently. Nevertheless, it doesn’t really take away from the overall impact.

If you’re wondering if I’ve put any of this into practice, well, I’ve begun on my path of personal productivity. I’ve made my own Weekly Planner excel sheet as well as separate planners for Home management and Meal Planning. I read a little of this book nearly every night before bed and it really inspires me to wake up in the morning with all guns blazing :-).
Whether you’re having time management issues or not, I’d recommend you pick up this book. You’re sure to learn something useful from it!!

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  1. Hi Fab ,

    Book sounds promising .. All the best for your actions as per the resolutions .. I just loved this one Take It One Oil Barrel at a Time ...So true na ?

    1. Very true, Sangeetha!! Especially when everything seems overwhelming, it helps to realize that all you have to do for now is deal with the current step and forget about everything else.

  2. I'm terrible at time management, this looks like a really nice read. the very name of the book got my attention :D Lovely review as always,Fabida :)

    1. Oh do read it Swarnali! It's a thin book and not overwhelming at all. I'd advise reading a chapter a day, so that you're always in productivity mode!!

  3. Well just yesterday I was looking at this book after reading something somewhere (cannot remember now!) But I seriously have major TM issues and I really need to focus and...(you know the rest). I hope to read this book someday and see :) But I like your points and i hope you have much success in keeping yourselves motivated :)

    1. Thank you!! Do try to get this book if you can, it really puts things into perspective and the advice is difficult to ignore!

    2. Thank you!! Do try to get this book if you can, it really puts things into perspective and the advice is difficult to ignore!

  4. I have read this book and you know, I always thought self-help books are useless. They just tell you the obvious over and over again. But these days, I love them and truly, it helps to be told the obvious over and over again :-)