21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Do the Hardest Things First
I tend to procrastinate on the things I least enjoy. For me, that’s usually laundry. (No shock there, eh?!)
It’s silly, I know, but I’ll put off folding the pile of clean laundry until I am down to my very last outfit (it’s probably a good thing I only have a few outfits, otherwise I can’t imagine how behind I’d get on laundry!). The laundry pile will hang over my head and burden me down, but I often don’t do anything about it until it becomes a necessity.
Prioritize the Hardest Things First
Mark Twain wisely said, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.”
Brian Tracy wrote an entire book based upon this quote called, Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. One of his main premises is that if you start the day out by doing the things you like least first, you’ll get them out of the way so you can enjoy your day more and be more productive and fulfilled.
Eat That Frog is an excellent read and it challenged me to go into my day with the goal of doing the hardest things first. When I get the most dreaded things out of the way right off the bat, it gives me so much momentum for the rest of the day!
I’ve been trying to apply this idea to my laundry pile. Instead of letting it sit and grow to an overwhelming size, I’m trying start a load of laundry first thing in the morning, switch it to the dryer before breakfast, and then fold and put it away mid-morning. So far, I’ve not been successful at doing it this way every day, but on the days that I have done this, I’ve been amazed at how well it works.
And honestly, when I just do one load a day, I’m able to stay on top of the laundry, it never gets out of hand, and it really takes no more than 15 minutes a day to keep up with. Why has it taken me almost nine years of running my own home to figure this simple principle out?
Save the Best for Last
Once you’ve accomplished your most dreaded tasks for the day, reward yourself with some of the tasks you enjoy doing. This will give you something to look forward to when you’re in the midst of doing your hard tasks and will probably give you motivation to accomplish them more quickly.
1) Read this great article: Start Your Day By Eating a Frog for some great step-by-step help in prioritizing your day.
2) Determine what you tend to procrastinate on and develop a plan of action for making it a first priority.
3) If you have a chance, check out Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time from your local library. It’s a quick read and it’s packed with helpful inspiration.
Note: I’m taking the weekend off from posting this daily series, but will be back with the next installment on Monday. Enjoy a little breather–but keep on with your discipline goals and projects!
Other posts in the 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life series
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Introduction
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Discipline is a Choice
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Discipline is a Process
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Implement One Habit at a Time
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Persevere Even When You Want to Give Up
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Discipline Requires Goal-Setting
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Accountability is Key
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Discipline Demands Focus
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Say "Yes" to the Best
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Do the Hardest Things First
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Get It Done Early
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Discipline Begets Discipline
- 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: How to Make Time for What's Important
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