Quick intro: This is one in a series of my Top 10 Productivity Hacks – a series of blog posts detailing the little tips and tricks designed to make you more productive. At the end of the series, I will be posting an overview post.
Productivity Hack #2: Do your most important task first.
The idea to do your most important task first has been described in countless productivity books and has been advocated for by some of the most famous people in the productivity space. In fact, Ernest Hemingway famously started his daily routine with writing straight away. He explained that this allowed for hum to do his best work as there was no one to distract him. This exact routine is replicated by numerous successful authors, artists and scientists.
Although I disagree with the idea that this most important task needs to be completed in the morning. Many people are not focused first thing in the morning, so there is no point trying to do deeply focused work at this time. If this is the case, I recommend doing admin tasks or chores in the morning and then as soon as you are awake enough to work on tasks that require your full attention, start with the most important task.
If you are struggling to figure out which tasks are the most important, I recommend reading my last post about the Eisenhower Matrix which categorises tasks based on Urgency and Importance.
This tip might seem overly simple and obvious, but I often find myself working on smaller, less important tasks to get them checked off and finish the day with the most important task untouched. As soon as I remember about this tip, I shift my focus and feel much more accomplished by the end of the day.