The Secret To Being More Productive And Happy
Do the Hard Things First
How you prioritize your tasks and time is the key to your success. We don’t want to do the hard things. We like to do the fun and easy things. But, the enjoyable things are often the least productive! And the easy things don’t usually provide much return for our time. Hard work pays off, and is unavoidable if you want to be successful! The secret to an enjoyable and productive day is to do those annoying jobs first! We prefer things that get better over time, so start your day off on a productive note and check off that tough task right away. The rest of your day will seem like a breeze. And you’ll finish your day more satisfied, going to bed feeling grateful because your day improved over time and was productive!
The ability to make yourself do the hard things is a big determiner of how successful you’ll be.
● Squats are hard. Leg extensions are easy. Guess which is more effective for strengthening your legs.
● Cold calling expired listings is hard. Holding an open house is easy. Guess which is more effective for making money as a real estate agent.
● Sweeping a floor is easy. Scrubbing a floor on your hands and knees is hard. You already know which is going to clean your floor more effectively.
Consider these ideas:
1. You have more energy and focus early in the day. It’s easier to do challenging things earlier in the day. It’s a proven fact that you’re more effective at 9:00 AM than you are at 3:00 PM. Attack the hard thing when you’re fresh. It’s only going to be more challenging later in the day.
2. You can spend more time on the hard thing. If you wait until later to do the hard thing, you might run out of time to complete it. Since the hard thing is often the most important thing, you should spend enough time on it to complete it.
3. The rest of the day is more enjoyable. If you have a difficult task on your list, thinking about it all day while you procrastinate isn’t a good day! Get the hard thing off your plate, so you can enjoy the remainder of your day.
● “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain
4. It builds self-esteem and confidence. Everyone else avoids the hard things. Be the person that attacks them. You’ll feel great about yourself and know that you can do anything that needs to be done.
● Your potential increases greatly when you can reliably get yourself to do unenjoyable tasks.
5. It can help your career. Once you’re known as the person that can do the hard things, you’ll be highly respected and considered reliable. Most people have excuses for not doing the hard thing.
6. Avoid thinking too much about it. It’s best to get started on your hard thing without spending too much time thinking about it. It’s like eating the frog. Just eat it. You don’t want to stare at it all day. The frog only becomes bigger and uglier over time.
7. Decide what your “frog” is for the day. The night before, determine what your most awful task is for the next day. Schedule it as early in the day as possible. When the time comes, attack that frog with everything you’ve got.
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Writing it down makes you more accountable. When you write down your goals and plans it is a visual reminder of what you want/need to do. And can help you prioritize which tasks are most valuable etc.
Get yourself an effective time management planner! I recommend the Smart Planner because it’s proven to help you achieve your goals and increase productivity, time management and happiness!
Some tasks are just no fun. There are even unpleasant tasks that provide little in return but have to be done. It’s best to get your unpleasant tasks done as soon as possible.
If you can make it a habit to do the hard things first, you’ll find that you’re much more successful. You’ll also be happier, because you won’t have to stress about those hard things more than necessary!
Having trouble prioritizing or finding the motivation to get those annoying jobs done and out of the way? Download this flow state worksheet to help you tackle those life’s challenges!