Eat the Frog: A Mantra for College Application Season

It's easy to fall behind when you're caught up in the perpetually-whirling cyclone of schoolwork, extracurriculars, practices, rehearsals, summer programs, college applications...phew.  You could lose your breath just reading your to-do list out loud.

You might not be able to lighten your workload right now, but you can adjust your approach.  Here's one simple tip for making your daily schedule more manageable:

Eat the frog.

eat the frog

Or, in more detail, "Swallow a toad in the morning if you want to encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day."*

In other words, do the task you find most unappealing, difficult or stressful first, when your energy is up.  The sense of accomplishment once you check off that dreaded task will motivate you to power through the rest of your to-do list, unburdened by feelings of avoidance. 

The frog strategy can be applied in a variety of ways. You might choose to wake up an hour early for one week and dedicate that time to application essay brainstorming. Or you might commit to studying for a difficult AP Calculus exam before completing any other homework, in order to apply maximum brain power to the review process. 

Eating the frog requires some will power. It's not exactly appetizing. But once you've done it, you'll be surprised at how much easier (and, maybe, more delicious) the rest of your to-do list seems. 

*This saying is often apocryphally attributed to Mark Twain, but was probably originated by the 18th century French wit Nicolas Chamfort. Read more about the unusual twists and turns of this particular saying here at Quote Investigator (but only after you've eaten the frog)!