I’m just thinking. Let’s say you’ve got a couple of tasks ahead of you to finish during the day, whether it’s work or home or else related. What it means is you’ve got a choice to make, the choice of which order to follow. The choice of whether to do the easy ones or the difficult ones first.
One way to go about it is to approach it in a physical exercise kind of way. You start with the easy tasks in order to get into it, to start the processes, to get your blood flowing and body working. Pretty much the equivalent of a mental warm up, so when you reach the difficult task you’re in the flow, your pace is up and you don’t risk injuring yourself. I guess the latter in this case would mean not making rookie mistakes when performing the tasks.
Then there’s the concept of using the easy tasks as positive reinforcement. You do the easy tasks first to fill your ego with positive feelings on how good you are at doing things and at getting things done. You simply boost yourself with confidence so that when you reach the difficult tasks you feel on top of the world and that you can do this.
In my case I notice I tend to start with the most difficult task ahead of me. I blame two of my personality traits.
One, I have a real strong subconscious so I gotta deal with the difficult task first because in any case my subconscious brain will not abandon thinking about how to go about and solve the difficult task, because by definition it requires more thought to be put into it. And that will likely mean I’m gonna do the easy tasks poorly. Because my mind is somewhere else. So if I get rid of the difficult task I can sail through the easy ones.
The second reason I’d go for the difficult first is because I am really easily bored. My whole persona wants to move forward and be done. So, if I start with the easy tasks and feel bored I’m quite likely in total loss of energy to start the difficult task once I get there. Add to that that I am real good at post rationalising and thus can easily argue that I don’t have to fulfill the tasks anymore. Well, let’s just say that as a precaution I need to start with the difficult cause otherwise I may not even get there.
In the end of course everything is likely an equation of you own experience from common tasks in combination with your individual mental state and form of the day and you have to take all aspects into consideration when deciding which order to carry out your tasks. And likely, it’s often a subconscious process. And that’s exactly why I would argue it’s crucial to give some thought to which you would you choose – easy or difficult tasks first?
Cause with all certainty you want to get all tasks done, right, and in a satisfactory manner, right? So you want to take control of yourself and secure it happens in the most efficient way.
So which is it for you? And do you know why?