To be truly productive, you must be selective.
Which tasks are most important on your list? Reasons may vary, but focus on the task that accomplishes the most towards your goals. If several tasks are equally important, tackle the hardest one first and don’t move on until it is done. Despite how daunting it may seem to start with your biggest challenge, don’t think too hard on it. Make the decision and take action.
Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter Drucker
Of course we’ve all heard the saying “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” The point is you can’t get anywhere if you don’t act on those plans. While planning is critical to success, the “just do it” mantra is equally as important to remember. Don’t get stuck over-analyzing.
For both individuals and teams, completion of tasks brings a feeling of accomplishment. You might be tempted to complete the smaller tasks first to have more “wins”, but the more challenging the task, the more successful one feels after completing it. Thus, it is positive for both personal self-image and team morale. So don’t be afraid to go after your big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs). It’s good for you!
Where I work, our goal is to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Of course, this is not the work we get every day, but when we do, it’s incredibly exciting and fulfilling. It gives us a sense of purpose that can’t be accomplished by doing a million little tasks. With that in mind, if you wake up every day and have a choice of what do, your most difficult task may be the one that will give you purpose and a true feeling of accomplishment. Why would you choose to work on other things?
Before you begin scrambling up the ladder of success, make sure that it is leaning against the right wall. Stephen Covey
I couldn’t agree more with Stephen Covey. Just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Keep your focus on the right things.