Benjamin Franklin once said, “You may delay, but time will not.” I have to admit it. I am a huge procrastinator, and it has really started to come out now that I recently got a new job title. Now, I am in charge of my own little slice of the company with a lot of people who work directly for me or for my subordinates. And, to make matters worse, I have a lot of reports, PowerPoint presentations, and other projects due every week to my own bosses. It never fails. I always wait to the last minute to get my important work done.
Time is of course one of our most precious resources. There is a greater and greater demand on our finite amount of time older we get and the higher we all move up on the corporate ladder. There are more requirements on our time, more fires that need to be put out, and more workers and work that need our specific attention. I constantly find myself coming in early and staying late because I haven’t gotten the important work completed yet. But, it does not have to be that way.
There is one simple trick that we can do everyday to be as productive as humanly possible. Ready for it?
Complete your hardest task first!
That’s it. Simple, right? But, do you do it? No! None of us do that. We put off the hard stuff until the last minute. Think about it. It is almost always the hardest, least pleasant task that we put off. For example, I keep putting off this one big PowerPoint slideshow that I have to present to my boss’s boss. I am constantly completing easy and relatively unimportant menial tasks instead of doing the meaningful work that I really need to do.
People try and rationalize that they perform better when they are crunched for time. But, that’s a fallacy. It’s a myth. For example, events like parties, planning a trip, or corporate training always go better when they have been planned far in advance. There are just some things that cannot be winged at the last minute.
So, my challenge to you is to take your hardest task of the day and do it first this week. See how easy the rest of your day will become. I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below…