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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 start a day with the easiest tasks on your list, you could be killing 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 changing things 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 behavior. The longer you do this, the harder it will be to go back to doing things the right way. Before you know it, you are sticking to only doing 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 the first task, you are also setting the tone for 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 complex 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 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, which is a key productivity killer for anyone who suffers it.
Finally, if you happen to start with easy tasks and stack the difficult ones up later, what happens when you find out that you can’t 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. However, if you leave it until later in the day, when you have less time to work with it, 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.
So there you have it — there are some compelling reasons why starting your day with the easiest tasks is entirely the wrong way to go about things. So take this on board as soon as possible!