Setting Yourself Up for Doctoral Success: part 6

Gina Holmes
3 min readFeb 15, 2022

Eat The Frogs

“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’s famous quote has been made even more famous by Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog.” Tracy’s book is about the concept of doing the biggest, hardest or most onerous important task on your list first thing each day. This way, you’re not procrastinating and worrying about getting it done.

The other concept of eating frogs is that if you have to eat a frog, it’s best not to stare at it for too long. You’ll have to do it anyway, so dive in and get it done!

Set Up Your Next Day The Night Before

This has everything to do with setting yourself up for inevitable success. Invest a few minutes in an evening routine to review your goals and map out 3–5 Most Important Tasks (MITs — geddit?) for the following day. Ideally, there are no more than three tasks on your to-do list. Click here for my Productively Planned Workbook to help you with this.

Determine which of these tasks is the most important — which one is going to have the greatest positive impact on your life or your business or both. This task is the first one to tackle to completion the next day.

You don’t push it off until the afternoon, or try to do the easiest or shortest or most unimportant tasks first. No, you’re eating the biggest, meanest, ugliest frog first and then the rest of your day will be a joy in comparison.

The mental energy that you use trying to procrastinate the completion of that one hardest task will far outweigh the energy you would use if you just jumped in and worked on it to completion first thing when your work day begins. #AskMeHowIKnow.

Once that first most difficult task is completed, you then tackle the next one on your list and then the third one and so on. If you don’t complete all tasks, whatever remains goes on your list for the next day.

This is also where having a dedicated ‘work session’ can really help — you jump in, announce what you’re intending to do and focus exclusively on it — the accountability will work wonders. Find out about the CoWork Sessions here.

Don’t Be A Multi-Tasker

No, really.

Focus on one task at a time to completion. Multi-tasking has been proven to be detrimental to productivity and the act of switching between tasks causes about 60% loss of time and focus. The best way to get things done is to make sure you’re chunking down into action steps that are workable, focus on one at a time and work to completion. Daily routines and planners all the way for this!

Set yourself up for inevitable success by deciding what 3 Most Important Tasks you’ll complete the next day, do the biggest or hardest task first, and work on it to completion before tackling the next one. When you take the time to organize how you’ll work to reach your goal in this way, your inevitable success is within your sights.

If you need some help with this, or would like support or mentoring to really move your thesis forward, contact me to discuss how I can help. Together, we can Get It Done!



Gina Holmes

I support doctoral candidates to get their thesis written. No technical jargon, just lots of good techniques and ass-kicking with love. Let’s Get It Done!