Let’s be honest – we’ve all done it once or twice. We came to work early in the morning, especially on Monday and then decided to settle down a little bit by doing some easy tasks first. Seems pretty normal. However, if you are starting off your day with the easiest tasks on your list, you could be killing your productivity levels for the rest of the day. This could seriously harm your output, leaving you with a lower task completion rate than you should be able to achieve. Here are the top reasons why starting with an easy task is such a productivity killer.
Letting yourself off
When you carefully set up your daily routine, you can make a big mistake in choosing to change things around after the fact. If you pick and choose which parts of your schedule to adhere to, you are allowing yourself to get away with bad behaviour. The longer you do this for, the harder it will be to go back to doing things the right way. Before you know it, you are sticking to only doing your easy tasks, and the others are getting more and more overdue. Don’t ever let yourself off a difficult task by doing an easy one first, as it can be hard to recover.
Setting the tone
When you do your first task of the day, you are also setting the tone for the hours to come. Will you be lazy and only tick off the quick and easy things on your to-do list? Or will you knuckle down and do what needs to be done? When you allow yourself to start with something easy, you are letting yourself slack off, and it will be that much harder to tackle the difficult tasks later on.
When you have big or difficult tasks on your list, it’s easy for them to weigh on your mind. You can even feel stressed out by the knowledge that they need to be done. So why let them linger? If you tackle them right away, you can breathe easily for the rest of the day. If you let them hang over your head, then the rest of your day is only going to be unproductive and stressful. You seriously have to think about how you want to proceed going forwards – whether to take the option that appears easy, or the one that will actually make things easier in the long run! Having stressful tasks hanging over you can also reduce your quality of life, leaving you to feel down or depressed – something which is a key productivity killer for anyone who suffers it.
Finally, if you happen to start with your easy tasks and stack the difficult ones up later, what happens when you find out that you can’t actually complete those tasks or that they will take longer than you thought? If you start with the more difficult option, you can get it done no matter what kind of roadblocks might emerge. If you leave it until later in the day, when you have less time to work with, you might find out that you are unable to get it done in time. This could lead to a lack of progress on your deadlines, making you seem like an unreliable employee with poor time management skills. It’s not a good look to have on your CV! It may also leave you rushing to complete other tasks for the next few days, leaving you on the back foot for a prolonged period of time.
So there you have it – there are some very compelling reasons why starting your day with the easiest of tasks is completely the wrong way to go about things. Take this on board as soon as possible!
James Pointon is a constantly-busy customer consultant and blogger working at OpenAgent – real estate experts. In his scarce free time, James enjoy traveling or just spending time with his family.