Medical education shares more similarities with frogs than you might think… When you’ve got a pile of anything building up (whether that be revision content or juggling extracurriculars) and your to-do list is saturated, it can be difficult to focus on which tasks should take priority.
Some content you’ll find easy to bash through. Some concepts are much harder (I’m looking at you neurology). Rather than approaching content randomly, you can be more intentional with your time to get the high energy boring stuff out the way sooner- It’ll help you be more satisfied and productive.
Eat that frog.
🥜Article in a nutshell
- Eating the frog
- How to eat the MedEd revision frog in 8 steps
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🤔What is ‘Eating the Frog’?
Get the hard stuff done first. Brian Tracy is a frog-fancier and productivity expert who coined the term ‘Eat that Frog’. Put simply, when it comes to completing tasks, you’ll feel better after getting the hard stuff out the way first. You can spend the rest of your day squeezing in the easier stuff. This doesn’t mean that you should work as soon as you wake up, but you’ll need to figure out when you’re at your height of productivity as early as possible.
👍Why it’s important for medical students
As exams get closer, the amount you’ll need to revise will increase and you’ll have a load of things you’ll need to cover. You’ll notice there will be tasks you can fly through, especially if you enjoy it, but there will also be drab boring stuff too. I’d soon rather cut my arm off with a fork than memorise molecular genetics, but thats just me. Also – If you want to balance CV building stuff like research and society work (or starting a side hustle), you may have commitments that you need to move forwards and juggle around your studying.
🐸An 8-step approach to eating that revision frog
- Have an up to date to-do list of the content you want to cover on a given day
- Make it easily accessible – this could be on iCalendar, Notion or your favourite scheduling app, but a paper list works just as well. Visualise the tasks that you’d be able to feasibly cover over the day.
- Compartmentalise your day into when you work best – We all work best at different times of the day. For me, I’m much more productive between about 09:00 and 11:00 after coffee. Try and find the time and conditions where you work best, depending on your life commitments.
- Assign tasks as low or high energy – if you know its going to take a lot of mental energy, asign it as high-energy.
- Assign a boredom factor – Rank the task on your own boredom scale. You’ll be able to flow straight into the tasks you enjoy, but actively resist the ones you don’t.
- Eat that frog – Make it your first task to get the highest energy, boring stuff out the way in the time when you work best. Then focus on the low energy boring stuff out the way – though you may want to sprinkle in some low energy fun stuff here and there to keep yourself interested.
- Pomodoro to keep moving forwards if you’re struggling – You can read my article on this awesome technique here.
- 🎉Celebrate – Once you’ve got the heavy, boring stuff out the way, take some time to reward yourself. You can be content in the knowledge that you’ve tackled the hardest task(s) of the day, and whatever happens over the rest of the day, you’ll be happy that you’ve made progress.
Don’t froget it 🐸*. Task prioritisation is important for medical students because it allows them to be more intentional with their time and focus on the tasks that are most important. By “eating that frog” and getting the hard stuff out of the way first, medical students can make the most of their time and be more productive. An eight-step approach to task prioritisation can help medical students make the most of their time and get the most important tasks done first. What are some of your tips for task prioritisation? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more blog posts on all things MedEd.
I hope this helps 🙌