Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Do You Eat Bugs?

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you did each morning was eat a live frog, you could go through the entire day with the satisfaction of knowing that was the WORST thing that could happen.  His point was to get your biggest task, problem or issue out of the way. Don't procrastinate. Tackle it head-on.

Brian Tracy took it several steps further in his book "Eat That Frog".  He says, "If you wake up, and have to eat two frogs, eat the biggest ugliest one first."  Time management remains one of the most popular topics in the business world, as well as our day-to-day lives.  We're constantly looking for ways to squeeze a little more out of a twenty-four hour day.  I would strongly recommend reading Brian Tracy's book, as well as "First Things First" by Stephen Covey.  Both give great insight on how control our schedules, and understanding that it's not just about how many hours we put in, but what we put into those hours.

Last night I had the "pleasure" of eating bugs for the first time.  No, that wasn't a typo, and yes, I did it willingly and intentionally.  In my defense, it was for a good cause, and they were all prepared by an amazing chef at an even more amazing restaurant.  Some of the items on the menu were sushi rolls and stir-fry with SIX different types of worms, tempura fried meal worms, and even chocolate "chirp" cookies topped with crickets.

I noticed something interesting while dozens of people around us tried stomaching these creepy crawlies. Some people had a problem with the texture, and some took issue with them being visible, or the size of the bugs.  But I didn't hear a single complaint over the taste of the actual bugs.  It got me thinking as to why I personally had no problem throwing back the insect stuffed sushi roll and slimy stir-fry, but had a near meltdown at the sight of a huge cricket sitting atop a chocolate chip cookie?

The more I thought about it, the more I began to associate it to how we tackle our problems on a daily basis.  Some of us worry more from over-thinking tasks, than the tasks themselves.  We start mentally listing all of the items on the list, and end up feeling so overwhelmed by the number of tasks, that we don't know where to even start.  We begin to suffer from "paralysis by analysis".

Or, maybe there's one glaring challenge staring you in the face.  It's the proverbial "elephant in the room" that prevents us from focusing on anything else until this one, singular task is completed. This is more my style.  I feel like rather than tackling multiple things at once, I'd rather eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.

There's more than one way to eat bugs, and there's more than one way to tackle the challenges that each day serves us. Some of us are more methodical, and like to map out a game plan of how to tackle each issue prior to starting.  Others are like a bull in a China shop.  Just stay out of their way until everything is off their list.

Eat That Frog - Video (1:29 in length)

If you feel like things could be run more smoothly and efficiently, start making a list of daily tasks, and try going after the biggest most pressing issues first.  Trust me, nothing is worse than sitting there staring at cookie that's staring at you and and trying to strategize on how you are going to not just get it down, but keep it down.  Sometimes our daily agenda will feel the same way - stop thinking, and down the hatch!  It'll be over before you know it!

In no way is this meant to be "preachy".....I write this for me, because I can internalize it when I write it, read it and share it.  If you take anything at all from any of this, I'm glad I shared.

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