Everyone advocates that.
Devote your early hours to the your most important thing.
I especially disagree on trying to tackle difficult, complex projects that need some serious decision making first thing in the morning.
Sounds very counterintuitive, right?
For years, I also pretty subscribed to the concept of tackling the most challenging, most important things first.
I not only subscribed, but actually did them — with varying levels of success.
I figured dealing with the monster in the room when I was freshest and had the most willpower was an excellent strategy.
In fact, I reasoned, it is the best strategy for massive productivity.
I was wrong.
It is not only NOT the best strategy for massive productivity, it actually kills productivity.
Because we all need an early win.
Picture this: you sit down at your workstation, and start chipping away at this monster of a project.
Two minutes into it, you are faced with a decision you are not ready to make.
Another few more minutes down the line, you hit another hurdle that needs a tool or a skill you just don’t have.
An hour later, ok, more than like fifteen minutes later, you are looking for a reason to quit. It’s difficult, and progress is slow.
Contrast this to scheduling easy wins for first thing in the morning.
You hit your desk, and you’re already excited. You know why? Because you’re about to hit production mode.
The thing you have to do requires little decision making, and even less research.
You have the skill and data required to not only execute it, but absolutely crush it.
You hit the ground running, and an hour later, you’re done.
You have a huge smile on your face.
You feel invincible, unstoppable, ready to face that monster project.
Because even if you don’t make too much of a dent on the Monster Project, you’ve already accomplished what you set out to do.
You had your easy win, which, rather than getting you all dejected, actually has filled you with enthusiasm and feel good energy to last you for at least another few hours.
There’s more to be gained from scheduling early wins into your day.
Let’s say my monster project is
When I know that on Wednesday I need to start my day by tackling the Monster Project, you can be sure that I will wake up with a tummy ache, or suddenly decide that the fridge can’t possibly go another day without a thorough clean.
On the other hand, when I know that my first task in the morning is writing out a blog post I’ve already outlined