You hear it all the time.
Pick the low hanging fruit. It supposedly represents tasks that are easy and bring quick results. Do they? Let’s examine the concept.
What does the quote mean?
As we said above, the concept is a good one. Do the easy task first that will bring the quickest results. There is certainly a lot of satisfaction in seeing instantaneous rewards.
Nothing is more refreshing than being able to do a task and see immediate rewards, however, that doesn’t always work.
There is another side to the coin. There is also the belief that you should “eat the frog”, or do the hard things first, getting them out-of-the-way and then being able to enjoy the rest of the day.
Both concepts are good and should both be used. Which one works best? That’s the issue.
Look at the process in steps:
First things first… coffee!
First thing in the morning, get your coffee and sit down with your planner or computer and plan your day.
Decide what your “frog” is, if you have a difficult task that you really dread to do.
If you have a “frog”, eat that thing first and then move on to the “low hanging fruit.”
What if you don’t have a “frog”, then go for the low hanging fruit!
The secret is to decide, or plan your day. Decisions are often the hardest thing to make, or they can be the “frogs.”
Eat the frog!
As we have said, a “frog” is a task, or a job that is unpleasant, or one that you really don’t like to do. So, if you can “eat the frog”, or get it done first thing, then the rest of the day is a piece of cake.
That’s good in theory, but who likes eating frogs? Let’s see what it means.
What is the advantage of “eating the frog”?
Clears your mind because you have made a decision and the decision is the hardest part.
Gets an unpleasant task out-of-the-way so that everything else is much easier, in theory, that is.
Allows you to move on to the “low hanging fruit”, or the easier tasks so that you can finish them today.
Gives you confidence that you can manage your tasks and your day, even the unpleasant parts.
The “low hanging fruit”
Okay, now we’re ready for the good stuff! We’re ready to look at our task list for the day.
First, you should have a task list, one that can be checked off or marked through.
I like to mark through them so I can see that I have accomplished something.
I use a “to do” list on the computer, which works great for me. Choose one that can be used on different devices.
Prioritize your list in the order of importance or time. That’s the secret… prioritize… just got to do it.
Begin by picking the most tasty fruit, or the easiest task so that you have a feeling of accomplishment.
Work your way through the tree, filling your basket with completed tasks.
The rewards of each concept
As you can see from the above paragraphs, there are rewards for doing both. Of course, there are rewards, as we have seen for doing each one.
The secret is to know the difference between a frog and a fruit! Identify your problems for the day and prioritize them… yes, I know I have said that before, but cannot stress enough the need to do it.
You have to decide and this is part of your planning, just which concept you should adopt for each day, or perhaps, each hour.
Half an hour before bed time to lay out your plans for tomorrow, can save you hours in the morning trying to figure out what to do today.
Did I tell you that since I was a young man in the Air Force, I laid out my clothes the night before, as we only had 30 minutes from the wake up call to the time to fall out on the road for duty.
Everyday won’t have a frog! Then again, some days everything becomes a frog! Try to keep some fruit hanging so you can eat an apple after the frog!
Thank goodness for the low hanging fruit! As you can see, the secret is in the planning. When I was learning to be a pilot, my flight instructor told me to “plan my flight, then fly my plan.” Good advice…plan your day, then follow your plan.
It has been rightly said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Very true advice.
Life is full of choices. The choices you make today will affect your tomorrow and perhaps many days to follow. As you can see, there are advantages to both plans and you have to use both.
The secret is to not fill your basked with too much fruit, or have too many trees that you have to pick… no one likes to have fruit still hanging from the tree, but sometimes you can’t pick them all.
Don’t make every day a “frog” day. No one likes a frog every day! Have no more than every other day that you have to “eat the frog”. Make sure you have plenty of “low hanging fruit”, days. Reward yourself frequently.
Don’t make planning a chore… make it an enjoyable experience and you will find it is so much easier.