Do you tackle the hard things first?

Last updated by Piers Sinclair [SSW] 4 months ago.See history

In the realm of productivity and task management, there's a common tendency to avoid the most challenging tasks, often due to the discomfort or fear associated with them. However, it's these challenging tasks that are frequently the most valuable. Tackling the hard things first not only ensures that these valuable tasks get the attention they deserve but also sets a precedence for working sequentially and methodically through your to-do list.

The Value in Hard Tasks

Hard tasks often represent the most significant opportunities for growth, learning, and contribution to your project or organization. They are typically the ones that require the most thought, creativity, and problem-solving skills, making them inherently valuable.

Strategies to Tackle Hard Tasks First

1. Identify the Value

Recognize the value and impact of the hard tasks. Understanding their importance can motivate you to tackle them head-on.

2. Reframe Your Mindset

Shift your perspective to view these tasks as opportunities rather than obstacles. This can reduce the mental barrier to getting started.

3. Break Down the Task

Divide the task into smaller, more manageable parts. This can make the task seem less daunting and more approachable.

4. Create a Sequential Plan

Plan to work on tasks in a sequence that prioritizes the hard tasks. This approach ensures that you address the most critical and valuable tasks when you are most fresh and focused.

5. Set Specific Goals

Define clear, achievable goals for your hard tasks. Knowing exactly what success looks like can help you maintain direction and focus.

6. Seek Support When Needed

Don't hesitate to seek help or collaborate with others on difficult tasks. Sometimes, a fresh perspective or additional expertise can make all the difference.

7. Eat the Frog

Eating the frog is a tactic that is especially effective if you struggle with motivating yourself to do hard tasks. Here's what it involves:

  1. Identify the frog - Find the hardest task in your backlog (aka the frog)
  2. Eat it - Do it as the first task in the morning
  3. Repeat - Eat the frog everyday


By focusing on the hard tasks first, especially in a sequential work process, you ensure that the most valuable contributions are not sidelined by easier, less impactful activities. This approach leads to more meaningful progress and a greater sense of achievement.

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