Getting the hardest thing done first

Eat that frog. Seize the morning. You’ve probably heard these phrases before. And for good reason. Tasks that you dread doing, and wish would disappear never leave your consciousness for long. Getting them done is where the relief lies. And there are solid reasons for getting the hardest thing done first besides the relief.

  1. It creates a positive mood, increases productivity, and helps with momentum
  2. You get a shot of enhanced clarity, confidence, and competence from the endorphins that getting it done releases
  3. Successes like ticking that ugly thing off, give you more willpower
  4. It frees you up to do more enjoyable work the rest of the day

So how do you go about getting the hardest thing done? Well, the trick is actually realising that the hardest thing is not actually ‘the hardest thing’. That ‘thing’ is actually quite tangible. It’s reading, writing, compiling, lines of code, picking up the phone, what you’ll actually be DOING when doing the ‘thing’.

The hardest thing is the immaterial, psychological stuff (the overwhelm, the dread, self-doubt, the feeling that it will take all day) that condenses around the task itself. This stuff is all we can see when we are avoiding a task and makes the task itself seem much much bigger than it really is.

So how do you get to doing the hardest thing? As quickly as possible, make physical contact with the tangible components of the task itself: open the email, the spreadsheet, the word document, the phone, reach for the tool that will take you to the task. This is the nitty-gritty of breaking down a task. Get to the bricks and mortar of a task and sidestep your brain.

What this does is make your concerns, the psychological stuff, more practical rather than hypothetical. Handle the pieces of the task itself and dive in. This way you get past your brain’s shouting and reasons to not do the work. This is similar to putting your gym clothes out ready for a run the night beforehand. Then when you wake up, you don’t have to decide to run. You just put on the clothes, and step out the door and oh, wow! You’re suddenly running! 

This concept may seem very similar to the ‘just do it’ mentality. But the recognition that the hardest thing on our list comes with an attachment of psychological stuff is an important difference. Acknowledging this and working with it is what will help you each and every time in getting the ball moving.

If you need more support and guidance as to how to get things done, take advantage of a free 30 minute chat with me and let’s get you eating frogs for breakfast!

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