Do you do the toughest thing first?

In everything you do personally or professionally there are easy things and difficult things when it comes to your daily task list. If you are like me, you have a to-do list on which you list the important tasks of the day or week. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with crossing things off the list.

My question to you is do you do the easiest things first to cross them off your list and then tackle the real thorny problems? Or do you climb that mountain first and tackle the toughest task and then have things get easier from there?

For example, I don’t love going to the gym. I’m fine with it once I am there but before I go, I am thinking about it frequently before I arrive. So I’ve addressed that by making the bulk of my gym visits the first think I do in the morning. Leaving before 6AM in order to be back home (where I prefer to shower and get ready for work) is also hard but when I’m on my way back from the gym at 6:45AM I often think that for the most part I’m done with the most arduous part of my day.

Some days when I get to work I know I’ve got a task on my list that is either highly unpleasant and/or a great deal of work. There is always temptation to knock off the less pressing tasks on my list but I try my best to avoid that temptation and tackle the big one(s) first while I am still somewhat fresh and not worn down from a long work day. And I always feel better once I’ve begun working on that tough task because getting started is often the most difficult part. What happens after that is that (most of the time) the task never seems to be as difficult as I thought and more importantly the worst is behind me.

Whether it’s a family issue that needs to be hashed out or a business issue, procrastinating seems to only make the task less palatable. If you are thinking of a New Year’s resolution I suggest that you start taking on the toughest things first. I guarantee you will give yourself a great gift.

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver, baseball lover
This entry was posted in Best business practices, Living in the World Today and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do you do the toughest thing first?

  1. Lynne says:

    Ahhh taking a break from one of these projects to infuse my mind with other thoughts. Found it ironic to see this on your blog! One thing I know is true for me, I am most productive, creative, and efficient in the late afternoon hours. Not sure why, just am! Tackling the hard projects during my most creative, productive and efficient hours really motivates me, and I think it has to do with the fact that I have cleared most of the clutter from my head, all those other small to dos, and allows me to focus a little easier on the task at hand. Also I find many more distractions, emails, texts, phone calls, and IM’s in the early part of my day…

    Always enjoy your blog Mark!


    • markkolier says:

      Hi Lynne,

      Even though I personally am a total morning person based on quality output I love reading about the different ways people handle stuff. Thanks for the comment and the compliment.


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