If you do the most important thing first each day, then you’ll always get something important done. As we mentioned in a previous article about procrastination, the principle of momentum comes into play here, in that the difficulty is in starting, and once started a task tends to gain it’s own momentum. The human tendency is to like to complete things so the pressure will be on to complete the important task that we have started.
As you go through the day it’s more likely that unexpected events will occur which will tempt you to divert away from planned activities, so get the important stuff done first!
Sounds simple but virtually no one does it. The reason is that at the start of the day there’s a great temptation to just check email or phone and text messages, and maybe catch up on the news overnight. We’ve probably started the day with family members where we had certain tasks or chores to carry out to get everyone to work, school or wherever. We are conditioned to work on other people’s agendas and so when we start work we are very receptive to these interruptions.
However urgent the tasks assigned to us by others might seem, what is urgent is seldom important and rarely as important to your goals and objectives as your own agenda.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should ignore your work colleagues or family members needs, and you may not be a morning person, which is fine, but whenever it is, it’s vital that you do set some time aside for your important tasks. Time when you turn off notifications and do not allow interruptions. It’s a time to follow your agenda, not someone else’s.
Not all successful people are morning people, but the vast majority do set aside time to get important things done. If you are not a morning person then think of the phrase “Do the most important thing first each day” as just another way of saying “Make sure that you do set aside some time each day to work on what is important to you”