Starting With The Hard Stuff

All my life I’ve had the very useful habit of making lists to keep myself organized and to prevent my forgetful mind from losing track of what needed to be accomplished.  Last week, I opened up my work binder and realized that I could probably use a list to keep track of all my lists.  Sometimes things just get a little bit out of control. 

As I laid out the lists with the intention of consolidating them, I had a revelation.  Basic RGBOn the many lists that had been created over weeks, if not months, one thing was clear.  On each one, the simplest, easiest items were crossed off while the more difficult or time-consuming ones remained … getting moved consistently to each subsequent list.  Professional procrastination at its finest. 

Oddly enough (or maybe a Freudian coincidence), one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes is:  “If the worst thing you have to do all day is eat a frog, then the best thing you can do is eat it first thing in the morning.”  In other words, start with the hard stuff first… not after everything else is done because it’s kind of like waiting for the perfect time to have kids… that “someday” often never actually materializes until it’s too late. 

So here’s my commitment this week:  Tackle the harder, bigger, most productive task first.  Get it out of the way.  Then filter in the easy stuff afterward.  I suspect I may find that some of those things become even less important when the more productive ones get completed anyway. 

Lucky for me, I really don’t have to eat any frogs this week but I DO have some East Coast sales calls, a looming article deadline, and “TED Talk” at ADMC for which to prepare.  The dishwasher, laundry basket, and my Facebook page will be waiting.  

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“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”   ~~ Stephen Covey

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