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Getting the Tough Stuff Done

People who begin the day working on those tasks they least look forward to create more excitement and positive momentum as the day progresses. By the end of the day, they not only feel more productive, but find each task to be more enjoyable as the day progresses.  We all know that completing anything : a task, a chore, and project, and receiving a small reward for that completion, like a delicious snack (I love snacks), encourages us to work hard again on the next task. This is a classic example of conditioning. Enjoying a reward after something hard or difficult to do motivates us to tackle the next challenge. We have earned the right to the reward by doing what is required and sometimes difficult. 


This is true with our daily tasks and “to do” lists, except the reward is already built in. We condition our brains to see a normal task as a well-earned reward when we start with the most difficult task first. This makes the workday become much more enjoyable and exciting, as we build more favorable feelings with each new task. Here comes the best part of all: Each task, in succession, becomes more interesting, enjoyable, and exciting than it really is. It provides us more satisfaction throughout the day as they are less challenging, take less time and effort, and provide more satisfaction.  

Here is something to try:  Make a list of everything you need to do today. Now, rank this task list based upon what you most want to do and least want to do. Place those tasks that are easiest and most enjoyable at the top and those you dread or find less pleasurable at the bottom of your list. Next, start from the bottom of the list and work your way up as the day unfolds…that’s right…do the most challenging, the less desirable task first.  Get it done…finished…and out of the way for the day. Planning the day with the most difficult or least enjoyable tasks first, to those you most enjoy builds excitement and momentum with every successive task. Doing the difficult thing first isn’t just smart. It makes the day more enjoyable and productive. It is time to do the work. Enjoy the ride.

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