Get Started with Something Easy

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Do I get stuck because I try to do the most important item first?

It’s at the top of the list. But then I find ways to procrastinate or otherwise avoid it. Often, I will do this all day until I “run out the clock”. And then I don’t have time and I’m tired. I’ll do it tomorrow! First thing!

Today I did much better with a couple of work tasks. One was pretty simple – I knew how to do it, I just had to take the time. The other I hadn’t done before and it would take more time, but it was definitely higher priority.

I decided I was too worn after beginning the day with meetings and other work to do the more challenging task. I wasn’t “fresh” enough to tackle this new item. And it’s technically not even due for another week. Granted, this is my last day before vacation, but I’m just prepping for the holidays, I could easily do it tomorrow morning.

So I did the easier of the two tasks. And an amazing thing happened, I felt energized and motivated and ready to tackle the more difficult one. I did stay at the office later than I had intended, but I got it done. I think it turned out well and I feel so much better!

This realization of mine is not exactly new. I’ve heard this advice before and even tried it. But there was something different about today. I really felt it work for me psychologically. Maybe the last time I tried, I didn’t do it right? Perhaps I tried to do something small, but it was a piece of something bigger and not fully complete? Or it was just the very mundane and distracting processing of email? The thing that felt really good was the delivery of the easy item.

I’ll have to try and reproduce it this week with my home tasks. Home is where I have the hardest time. There are far too many distractions and then I also get perturbed by the inequity of cleaning/organizing my husband’s mess. But he’s still working and I want it done.

Hopefully today wasn’t a fluke and this will be a useful technique to stop my perpetual self-sabotage.

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