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Do the hard stuff first

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We don’t want to do hard things. We like to do pleasant things. If we don’t like something, we at least want it to be easy.

However, nice things are often not very useful. And simple things usually don’t give much return on our time.

The ability to push yourself to do difficult things determines to a large extent how successful you will be.

For example:

– Squats are difficult. Leg extension is easy. Guess what is more effective for strengthening the legs.

– Cold calling expired listings is difficult. It’s easy to host an open house. Guess it’s more efficient to make money as a real estate agent.

– Sweeping the floor is easy. It is difficult to wash the floor on your hands and knees. You already know that it will be more effective to clean your floor.

Consider these ideas:

1. You have more energy and focus at the beginning of the day. It’s easier to do difficult things at the beginning of the day. You are more efficient at 9:00 AM than at 3:00 PM. Attack hard when you are fresh. Later in the day it will get even more difficult.

2. You can spend more time on the hard thing. If you wait to do a difficult task, you may run out of time to complete it. Since the most difficult task is often the most important, you should spend enough time on it to complete it.

3. The rest of the day is more pleasant. If you have something unpleasant hanging in your head all day, you just can’t enjoy the day. Take the heavy stuff off your plate so you can enjoy the rest of the day.

– “If your task is to eat a frog, then it is better to do it in the morning. And if your task is to eat two frogs, then it is better to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain

4. It builds self-esteem and confidence. Everyone else avoids the hard stuff. Be the person who attacks them. You will feel great and know that you can do whatever it takes.

– Your potential is greatly enhanced if you can reliably force yourself to perform unpleasant tasks.

5. It can help your career. Once you are known as someone who can do difficult things, you will be highly respected and trusted. Most people have excuses for not doing the hard stuff.

6. Avoid thinking too much about it. It is best to begin your difficult task without spending too much time thinking. It’s like eating a frog. Just eat it. You don’t want to look at it all day. The frog only gets bigger and uglier over time.

7. Decide what your “frog” is for the day. The night before, decide what your most dreaded task is for the next day. Schedule it as early in the day as possible. When the time comes, attack this frog with everything you’ve got.

Some tasks are just unpleasant. There are even unpleasant tasks that cost little, but must be done. It is better to complete unpleasant tasks as soon as possible.

If an unpleasant task has great value, it deserves to be done first. If the unpleasant task is of low value, just remove it as soon as possible.

If you can reliably do the hard things first, you will find that you are much more successful. You’ll also be happier because you won’t have to stress about these difficult things any more than necessary.

Originally published on 2019-09-15 20:43:47.

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