Should You Take On The Easiest Or Difficult Task First?

easiest or difficult task first

It’s satisfying to complete tasks, especially when you’re busy. Starting the day by responding to emails or mailing bills can boost your confidence. According to a new study, doing easy tasks first may hurt productivity.

In the near run, the person may feel satisfied and less nervous, says Northwestern University’s Maryam Kouchaki. Avoiding hard jobs reduces learning and skill-building possibilities.

Kouchaki conceived the idea for the study after talking with Bradley Staats of UNC-Chapel Hill and Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School about their inclinations to delay hard tasks, like writing a paper, in favor of simple ones, like routine class.

Is It Better To Do Harder Or Easier Tasks First?

There are two schools of thinking regarding the subject at hand. Some productivity experts say that if you begin with the chores that will take you the least amount of time and effort, you will develop momentum that will carry you through to the harder tasks.

On the other hand, some industry professionals believe that getting the most difficult tasks out of the way first is the best way to maximize productivity. (Avoiding hard tasks indefinitely prevents learning and improve one’s skills.)

While completing easy tasks first is constructive procrastination and destroys productivity

The solution that works best is neither starting with the easy task nor the hard task. The combination of the two is what strikes the ideal equilibrium.

You could have pondered this question on a typical day:

should you take on the easiest or difficult task first

  • Should I start by working on the easiest task or the job that is the most difficult?
  • Have you ever found it challenging to start working on the most difficult task?

On the other hand, working on the easier duties by yourself would put off until the completion of the more challenging tasks later in the day.

Complex projects can be broken down into simple milestones to provide workers the completion high of easy jobs while yet providing challenge and development.

Let’s go over the best way to select the most productive activities for the first part of the day so you can get some work done.

The following are some advantages to tackling the less difficult task first: 

low workload group

Make a to-do list of the number of tasks you need to complete, you will get quite a few things done in the morning.

The most challenging part of the day for many people is getting yourself going in the morning. Getting through a few simpler tasks first thing in the morning sets the stage for the rest of the day.

You gain sufficient momentum to continue going and get more done during the day due to your efforts.

The following are some of the advantages of tackling the most challenging task first: 

Now that the most difficult task is out of the way, the next ones should be much simpler.

You are taking care of the challenging assignment first thing in the morning when your body and mind are most alert and refreshed.

The arduous task seems even more difficult later in the day when you are exhausted from the day’s activities. (Once again, this is a matter of opinion because some persons experience morning sluggishness while others reach their peak productivity levels later in the day.)

The cons of doing the jobs with the least amount of difficulty first: 

high workload group

The tasks that present the most challenge are the ones that are most likely to be put off until later in the day or ignored entirely.

Your mind carries the weight of the knowledge that you have a challenging assignment waiting for you later in the day while you go about your day.

The cons of doing the most challenging tasks first are as follows:

It may take longer to get started if one chooses to tackle the most challenging activity first because of the discomfort associated with doing so.

You may spend too much time on the most challenging activity, which will cause you to fall behind on several less tough chores that you might have finished in just a few minutes.

You can’t ignore the fact that both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. The question now is, which fashion should one aspire to follow?

Which one to choose?

Both techniques have merits and cons. Which style is best?

A harmonious combination of the two! 

It is essential to develop momentum on whatever you are working on, whether it is the next big thing or the beginning of your day. These holds regardless of the task at hand.

Therefore, to get started, select approximately two to three simple functions to finish on that day. You would have had your dopamine surge if you completed them as quickly as possible. At this point, your energy and motivation levels are over the roof.

Take on the challenge that presents the most difficulty right now. If you do this, completing it will be far simpler than if you were forced to choose the most challenging assignment to do first. You are currently moving forward and have already overcome the initial challenge of getting started for the day. The difficult undertaking will appear to be less challenging now.

(Once you have finished the most challenging work, you should reward yourself by picking up a few easier tasks before moving on to the next challenging one.)

The benefits and drawbacks of this strategy are both addressed. The benefits of starting with the simpler jobs remain after you’ve finished them.

Conquering the disadvantages and capitalizing on the advantages of beginning with the more challenging activities go hand in hand. You’ve managed to get the most rewarding results possible.

Perform physical activity to accomplish both easy and tough jobs. 

  • Choose two to three activities to start the day with that can be finished in five minutes.
  • After that, choose something more challenging to do and finish it.
  • Reward yourself by taking on a couple of additional simple responsibilities.
  • Choose one more challenging endeavor.
  • Iterate through the process.

Final Thought

You are now aware of the benefits as well as the drawbacks associated with both models. There are advantages to starting with the work that is the least difficult, but there are also some disadvantages. The same principle applies to achieving success in challenging endeavors as well.

The exercise will teach you to strike the optimal balance between the two methods.

My Own Terms

My Own Terms is a company founded by Joshua T. Osborne to help people take back control of their lives and live life on Their Own Terms.

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