Take Care of the Tough Tasks First

by Thom Tracy

1 min read

One of the best time management tips is to tackle your day’s toughest tasks earlier in the day. Typically, your toughest tasks are the ones that are the most important in terms of sales, profits, and the future of your company. In contrast, easy tasks are necessary but not valuable. These are often low-intensity tasks such as responding to emails, paperwork, or organizational tasks. Early in the day, you have more control over your schedule and energy to devote to high-level work. Additionally, your mind is clear. Many time management experts such as Brian Tracy, author of “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,” recommend blocking large chunks of time to work on high-priority tasks early in the day. Tracy introduced this concept with a thought experiment; imagine you had to eat a frog every day. Would you be better off not eating the frog until the end of the day, and then spend the whole day stressing about it, or would you rather do it first thing in the morning so you could be free to enjoy the rest of your day? This extreme example shows you only hurt yourself by avoiding tough tasks. The stress and guilt result in you being less present and effective throughout the day. At some point, you must complete all tasks even the tough ones. Later in the day, you have less energy and more distractions, which could impede the quality of your work.

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