Don’t let unpleasant tasking cast a shadow over your day
I think sometimes the most important thing we do all day is the thing that we are dreading doing the most. I know that for me, there’s always a bunch of things that need to get done. Some of which you’re “eh” interested in but either you get them done or you don’t, it’s not that big of a deal. Some of them you’re excited to do, you’re interested in it, you’re engaged, and it’s good stuff. Then there’s probably a few things that you really don’t want to do. You know it’s going to be hard, whether it’s a painful phone call, or slogging through a boring manual, or any number of other tasks that I know I dread on a daily basis. So one of the things I found is that if I can just knock out the thing that I dread the most, the one I’m really REALLY not looking forward to, the whole day looks better.
It’s a just a bit of the advice that is provided in Getting Things Done. In the book, there are many mentions of that great feeling that comes with getting things off of your shoulders and just shedding that weight. It also talks about how anything you can get done in a couple minutes, you ought to get done right now. I think it’s great advice and that’s one of the things that I’ve taken away and really incorporated into my life. I’ve noticed that I’ve had less stress and have fewer things on my plate because there are more things that I just knock out right when I think of them because they don’t take that long.
So this is my taking that concept and rolling it up a bit. Now we all know that it is human nature to do things that we enjoy rather than things we don’t, that goes without saying, but I’ve started to take the thing that I least want to do and do it first. By doing this it sort of makes the rest of the day, even if it’s a day full of things that I may be not looking forward to if I can just get the worst one out of the way, feel downhill. From an approach standpoint, I think it just gets you in a great frame of mind because everything else looks easy from there. Once you had the conversation over the phone you were dreading having or written that email that you really weren’t looking forward too, the rest of it’s easy from there. So it’s something that I’ve incorporated into what I do on a daily basis and I think other people get similar results because it’s just sort of a common sense thing.
I’d be curious if anyone else out there has taken an approach similar to this or has a different take on how they tackle their day. I love it when I get to the end of the day and there are a couple of things that are left on my list that I’m really looking forward to doing and I’m able to do them without anything hanging over my head. Whether its sitting there and doing something creative or some of the other things that I really like getting to do about my job, I really enjoy those a lot more if I don’t have some horrible thing hanging over my head that I know has to get done. It just sucks the fun out of it. I’d love to get people’s feedback as always.