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Easy Things First

This excerpt is from Sanders Says by Tim Sanders

If you have an unreasonably long to-do list, don't let it overwhelm you.

All you need is a little momentum, a quick win to get your started. I've learned that time management is really a question of energy management. You can mow through almost any task list, much like running a long race, so long as you have 'gas in the tank'.

Often, we dive into our daily lists, trying to tackle the toughest stuff first. We get a little bogged down, the day passes, and we feel like we got nothing accomplished. Reverse that thinking. Look at your list, circle three things that are easy yet important -- and knock them off. Circle two more ez-pezee tasks to tackle right after lunch. You'll find that when you get three things done, you have a sense of confidence. That is when you tackle something harder (creative, emotionally charged, etc.)..... read the rest here.

I know for myself procrastination is a deadly habit in my life. I too often run certain tasks to their last possible deadline, giving myself very little margin to finish and accomplish them. I appreciate Sanders advice on how to move through the long to-do list and get through the inertia of procrastination.

But I should also mention that there is contrary advice to fighting procrastination. In the book, "Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time "by Brian Tracy he suggests to do just the opposite of Tim Sanders. Here are just two of his "21 ways", Do the most difficult task first: Begin each day to do the most difficult task, the one task that can make the greatest contribution to yourself and your work, and resolve to stay at it until it is complete. Slice and dice the task: Break large, complex tasks down into smaller pieces.

So there are definitely different ways to slice and dice this procrastination monster. Do the most difficult task first - tackle it head on by breaking it into smaller pieces. Or do easier tasks first to build momentum and confidence as you move toward the harder tasks.

 Which way works best for you? And why?


I definitely need to break tasks down into smaller parts then tackle a few easy ones first. The visual of the list with jobs crossed out encourages me. It's the only way I get things done!! (and I need deadlines too)

Yes, i agree with you about the need to stop procrastination. I've found help at and that website has a variety of ways to stop procrastination. Give it a try. I've tried and i can already see an improvement in my condition.

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