Don’t Procrastinate – If You Dread It, DO IT!
The Scientific Importance To Tackling Those Tough Tasks First
Not all tasks are of equal importance and not all are enjoyable. It’s easy to procrastinate on the difficult ones. When you’re working with your list of daily tasks, take a moment to figure out what is really important. Which items on your list must get done? Once you figure those out, put a star by them and do them first.
When you do your hardest or most important tasks first in the day, it ensures you’ll get them done with your most energy and focus. You’ll also avoid the urge to procrastinate any further.
Is there something on your list that you dread? Then that’s the thing you need to put first. Typically, we tend to procrastinate on the things we dread or dislike. This sets up the pattern of checking email, replying to a few letters, or doing any of a number of low-priority tasks to avoid the harder ones. It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we’re checking things off our task lists, but we’re really killing time. This is a recipe for suddenly realizing in shock that it’s noon and you haven’t accomplished any of the things you really should have done.
Invariably, the tasks we dread are important ones. (Because if you don’t like it, and if it isn’t important, then why are you doing it at all?) Tackle these first. Get them done. You’ll go into the rest of your day with a feeling of great accomplishment because of all you got done already. This is one of the reasons why I’m a big fan of exercising first thing in the morning—then it’s out of the way, and I don’t have to spend any time worrying about it. Plus, doing it feels great.
And once you finish that important task, what should you do next? That’s right…probably the next-most-important task on your list. Do this and, at the end of the day, even if it turned out to be one of those days when you can’t possibly accomplish everything, at least you will have knocked out the most important things. And you will have given them your best focus and energy, because you did them first.