When I was 9 years old, one of my favorite meals was sausages and mash potato. The only problem with this meal was that it usually came with brocolli.
Each time I was faced with this meal, I would enjoy my sausages and mash potato and then toy with my brocolli in the hope that it would eventually get cold and I wouldn’t have to finish it. This approach transformed dinner into a long and drawn out process.
Then one day, my best friend whose name was Sean Sullivan came over to my house for the day to play. When it came time for dinner, Mum made us sausages, mash potato and brocolli.
As I stated eating my sausages and mash potato, my friend Sean did something that completely amazed me:
– He ate all his brocolli first without touching his sausages or mash potato.
I couldn’t believe it!
I thought he was crazy until I got to the point where I was toying with my brocolli and realised that he was now enjoying his sausages and mash potato.
On that day I learnt a lesson that I have never forgotten and that I still use every day. The lesson was this:
When faced with a list of things to do, always do the hardest task first.
Here’s what this means in the real world:
Each morning when you check your daily To Do list, you will notice that some of the items on your list will be easy to do but will only have a relatively small impact on achieving your goals. Other items which are usually more difficult to do will have a much bigger impact on moving you forward.
One of the most effective ways to increase your overall productivity is to start your day by working on the difficult tasks that will make a real difference to your progress.
To do this, you must resist the temptation to “Just do the easy things first ” because often this means that you keep putting off the high impact tasks that will really make a difference to achieving your goals.
Another advantage of ‘eating your brocolli first’ is that when you are feeling less productive at the end of the day, you are often still able to complete the easy tasks on your To Do list.
So today, I’d like to encourage you to prioritise your To Do list based on the impact each item will have on achieving your goals and follow the example of my 9 year old friend and learn to eat your brocolli first.