Songwriting

Songwriters: Eat The Big Frog First

by Marty Dodson
Nov 23, 2016

“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

Author Brian Tracy wrote a book called “Eat That Frog“. He took the idea from the Mark Twain quote posted here. The idea of the book (and the quote) is that most people procrastinate doing the most important things because they are usually the hardest things to do.

The most important thing you have to do today becomes your frog.

So, if my “to do” list today looks like this: (In order of importance)

1. Spend an hour working on new song ideas

2. Take an hour to work out

3. Follow up with producer about a song on hold)

4. Write

5. Run by Walgreens

6. Go to the grocery

What often happens is that I sleep a little bit late, I run by Starbucks where I run into Clay or someone else I know. After leaving there, I’m running even farther behind. So, I have to choose between working out and working on song ideas. Deciding that I’d better work on ideas, I head to the office to get to work. Arriving at the office, I get into a conversation with one of our pluggers. He needs to ask me about several songs. Therefore, we talk for a while until I realize that it’s time to write!

I rush to my office where my co-writer has just arrived. Guess which two items don’t get done all day? #1 and #2. They continue to get pushed along to the next day’s list even though I’ve ranked them as the most important things I needed to do today. These are my frogs. They are the things that are the least fun things to do. I know I NEED to eat the frogs, but I don’t WANT to eat them.

I’m working on MAKING myself eat my frogs first each day.

After I get those tasks done, the rest of the day is a breeze. I’m seeing the power in getting the most important things done first and withholding my pleasure items until I get the big jobs done. The lesson applies to writing AND to life in general. If you are trying to get songs recorded, then determine what the two MOST significant things you could do today to move toward that goal. Do those things first. Don’t put them off.

If you do the two most important things you could do to move toward your goals EVERY day, my prediction is that you start reaching your goals.

After 6 months of doing your priority items each day, you will definitely be moving in the right direction! So, today, eat your frogs first. Focus on doing that every day. And let me know how far that takes you down the road.

Write on! MD

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing

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