This tip isn't something you need to draw out or deeply think about. It's very simple. When you wake up in the morning, what do you do? We usually have a to-do list and cross off everything by the time it's 3 or 4 o'clock – except for the most important thing on our list (That's what ends up happening to me anyway).
In order to be your most productive self, do the most important thing first.
It's so simple, and yet nobody does it.
You could make incredible progress each day if you did the most important thing on your list first, because it sets you up for the rest of the tasks. We often assume that productivity means getting more things done each day. False. Productivity is getting important things done consistently. And no matter what you are working on, there are only a few things that are actually important.
Being productive is about maintaining a steady, average speed on a few things, not maximum speed on everything.
That's why this strategy is effective. If you do the most important thing first each day, then you'll always get something important done. There are many days when I waste hours crossing off the less important tasks on my to-do list and never get around to doing the most important thing I planned to do.
Willpower also tends to be at the highest point earlier in the day compared to later. You'll be able to put all of your energy and focus on your most important task. You'll most likely finish the task if you start it early instead of later and finishing it, and then leaving it for the next day (What a bummer).
Why don't we do it all the time? Sounds easy enough, right?
Most people are guilty of responding to someone else's agenda rather than their own. I'm definitely guilty of this.
This could be the result of how we are raised by society. At work, we are assigned due dates and given expectations from our bosses. We're given assignments and told when to take our exams in school. We have tasks or chores to perform to care for our kids and our partners at home. After a few years of this, it can become very easy to spend your day reacting to the people around you.
I'm not saying people who don't wake up at the crack of dawn aren't as successful at those who do. There's not one path to success, but definitely set a time in the day to do your own agenda rather than responding to someone else's. Giving yourself the time and space to perform tasks is important in your daily life.