Is it Time to Eat Your Toad?

Do you have a mountain of work to get through, are feeling a little overwhelmed or don’t know where to start?

One of my favourite stories that I share in my training (that many may have heard) is about eating your toad…

If you have not heard this story before, then I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and if you have heard the story before, take the time to refresh your memory and ensure that you are continuing to ‘eat your toad’.

Eating your toad can be life changing!

The story:

A man was diagnosed with an incurable disease called “toadulitus”. Doctors and leading specialists could not find a cure and gave him limited time to live. Desperate for a cure, he searched the Internet and found a doctor in the remote jungles of Africa, who had found a cure. With excitement, he booked a plane ticket and was on his way to Africa. After a five-hour trip through the jungles of Africa, he reached the village where the village elder (Doctor) lived. The man came face to face with him and asked, “What is the cure, how can I prolong my life?” The village elder responded, “The cure is simple – you will need to eat a toad, each day for the rest of your life to survive.”

If you had to eat a toad every day to survive, when would you eat it? For Breakfast?… Lunch?… Dinner?… or would you rather die?

The way in which you answer this question, will reveal how you deal with the most common disease in Property Management – “Procrastination!”

If you chose to eat your toad for breakfast you are a person that likes to get things out of the way.  If you chose to eat it for lunch or dinner you may like putting things off. And if you would rather die, you may be a full-blown procrastinator and need immediate help.

The toad is a metaphor for the things that you are putting off, such as: returning a difficult telephone call, attending to paperwork, arranging certain outstanding maintenance issues, attending to an insurance claim or preparing reports for the principal to name a few.

If you find that you have a toad or a task that has been placed in the too hard basket, ask yourself why you are putting it off?


Why do we procrastinate?

You fear the reaction or outcome

You fear confrontation

You have made a mistake and don’t know how to correct it

You are not sure how to communicate a matter

You are not sure how to resolve the matter

You are not sure how to tackle the tasks

The fact that you are avoiding your toad is going to greatly affect your health and confidence levels. You will find it hard to get through other tasks because at the back of your mind you are constantly thinking… I have to ring Mrs. Smith or I have to attend to that task.

If you don’t eat your toad now, the situation is only going to get worse. It is not going to go away.

Once you eat your toad, that sick feeling in your tummy will be gone, and 9 times out of 10 the outcome or what you feared, is not as bad as you thought.

If you are putting of a task because you are not sure where to start, or how to handle the matter, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help.

Eating your toad is like working your muscles out at the GYM. The more you eat your toad, the stronger you will become in tackling the things you often put off.

Each morning that you arrive at work, look at a team member in the eyes, and ask them “What is your toad today?” Let them know what your toad is, and say, “Let’s go and eat our toad now!”

If you liked this story, Debbie hosts live online coaching sessions each Tuesday that covers 26 property management topics.  Visit to find out more.


[Managing Director PPM Group]
Expert Property Management Trainer & Coach
REIQ Multiple Awarding Winning Property Manager of the Year

Debbie celebrates more than 30 years’ property management experience, working as a property manager and a business owner.

She is the founder of the PPM Group, a national company that encourages and supports business development opportunities within property management departments through the development of procedural systems, coaching, live training broadcasts, learning resources, due diligence and rent roll sales.

Debbie guest speaks with thousands of property management team members and principals each year around the nation and overseas on how to improve profitability and productivity through the implementation of systems and strategic human resource management planning.

She is well respected in the industry and has dedicated her working career to improving the mindset of property managers as well as the day-to-day internal operational procedures.

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