What should you do first?

What should you do first?

Recently, while looking at a daunting to-do list, I thought to myself, “Do the easy stuff first” which is a complete turn-around of what I have often advised people.  I immediately realized this and decided I needed to think about this a little bit more, but it would have to be another day, because there was just no more room on that day’s list.

Later that same day, as I was tackling a task, I again thought, “Do the easy stuff first.”  That was when I decided to ponder this idea.

You see, I have always followed the idea that if you do the easy stuff first, you still have this burden of hard stuff waiting to be done and you may not feel like doing it and it gets put off onto another day.  If you do the hard things first, you get them out of the way and then finish the day with the easy stuff  – it’s… well… easy.

However, I often recall Adm. Bill McRaven’s 2014 speech at the University of Texas at Austin.  The short version was referred to as “Make Your Bed.”  The man has a valid point.  Start with something easy and check it off the list.  It helps increase your sense of accomplishment as you see the things on your list getting marked off as done and empowers you to tackle more difficult things.

This just goes to show you, there is more than one way to skin a cat.  When you look at the tasks that need to be accomplished for the day, week, month you can determine which method is best for you.  That could change daily, depending on the length of the list, the things on it, and even how you are feeling that day.

Sometimes, the things we need to accomplish can feel overwhelming, even to the point of paralyzing. Think about it for a few minutes and make a plan of action.  Whether you decide to start with the hard stuff, or do the easy stuff first is up to you.  The point is to START.

“Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started.” – Gretchen Rubin

*Pam Horton is a certified Stress Management coach in the Raleigh area.*