Mark Twain was a smart chap and a great storyteller, but he didn’t say this:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you all day.”
The idea is sound.
Completing the most challenging or least enjoyable tasks first greases the wheels of the day. Everything goes a little smoother afterwards.
It’s such a sound idea that OG business coach Brian Tracey wrote a whole book about it.
It’s why Admiral McCraven tells us to make our beds in the morning and why drinking a glass of water first thing can change our lives.
Writing this note to you is often the hardest part of my day.
But here’s my favourite part about this expression.
When M. de Lassey said it, he said it about Napoleon and his cronies, and it originally went something along the lines of:
“If you have to spend the day in court, eat a toad first so that nothing more disgusting happens to you all day.”
Everybody likes a lie-in until it ruins the day.
Dragging ourselves out of bed five minutes before work is an easy way to mess up any plan.
Once the emails start pinging, and our colleagues start singing, there are often very few moments left to do anything for ourselves.
Those precious moments of slumber before we lose the day to the world are some of the most deceptive.
That’s why they call it a lie-in.
Spread snoring across the linen might feel like winning.
But everybody knows that when you snooze, you lose.
Writer’s block is for amateurs.
There are few things more intimidating than a blank page. But everyone knows that the way to get through any creative block is to just get going.
For writer’s block, write something. For painter’s block, paint something. For accountant’s block (is that a thing?) do your favourite equation or something.
Whatever we do, every day is a clean slate — a blank page.
Some of us may have an itinerary, but there are always big blank spots that need filling, and they are can be just as intimidating as sitting down at an actual blank piece of paper.
That’s one reason why doing something deliberate early, a small morning routine like drinking a glass of water or exercising, can be so powerful. It helps us get going. It breaks the seal on the day.
It’s my remedy to “being a functioning member of society block.”
The standing average is about one a month, totally ruined.
It’ll usually happen sometime between 7 and 11 am, but it’s worse when it’s in the afternoon. Sometimes they’re pale blue or grey but usually white.
A moment of distraction and a lukewarm dribble of pitch-black invades the virgin cotton. Somehow, despite thirty-odd years of using it, I still don’t know where my mouth is.
I cannot count the number of shirts I have ruined from a moment’s lack of presence.
There’s an old proverb that says, “When drinking tea, drink tea.”
This is very sound advice for life, not just because it’s important to be mindful about what we do, to stay in the moment, and enjoy the little things in life.
But also because if you don’t, you’ll probably ruin your shirt.
Now, that’s wisdom.
A simple stretch can give you a big boost on stiff days, even when it seems like a stretch to get out of bed at all.
Stretching releases a flood of endorphins, reduces stress, gets the blood flowing, and could help reduce menstrual pain.
It’s a quick win on any day. And you can do it while you’re still in bed.
Stretch your arms up high. Wiggle those toes way down.
Take a big breath, give it back.
And off we goooooo!
It’s not always easy.
It’s not supposed to be.
And sometimes it really fucking hurts.
But that’s ok;
That’s what it’s about.
It still really fucking hurts.
So we shake it off.
We get up and get on.
Because that’s the reason we’re here.
Getting up from those knocks.
Climbing up to those peaks.
Or exploring the cold side of the pillow,
For just a little bit longer because it’s Friday.