Do the Hard Thing First

Over the weekend we went bicycling around town.  My husband wanted to show me and our home-for-spring-break son a new bicycle path.  It was a lot of fun and as always, we get to see our city in a different light when riding on the back of a bike.

The twenty mile trip was a large loop- heading south from our home, then turning west, heading north and then east back to home.  When we traverse east and west we have to navigate a fairly large hill. There is no way round.   The only choice is which way round: either a very long, fairly gradual uphill climb or a shorter, steeper version.  The guys opted for the shorter, steeper version and did very well climbing it.  I climbed it too but not on the bicycle.  My bike and I had a nice walk  up the hill.

We have done a similar route in the past, but it doesn't include traversing this large hill.  When we do the flatter version, about 2 miles from our home I am ready to return.  I am tired and have had it.  Today, when we came to the same area where I usually am fatigued I thought this is no problem.  After traversing those other hills, this is a piece of cake.   I had done the hard cycling already and so when I came to an area that was difficult but not as difficult as what I had just done,  I was prepared and could do it.

In time management circles they always suggest that one does the hard task, the task that you keep putting off, first. Yesterday I definitely saw why that is.

  1. You get it out of the way.  When you know something is inevitable I find the anticipation is worse than the actuality.
  2. It makes everything that comes afterward so much easier. It puts things in perspective; everything after the hard task seems like a piece of cake even if in the past that "piece of cake" experience was once the hard thing.
  3. You experience  such a relief. There is a collective sigh that one can move on to something else. 

What about you?  Do you have to accomplish something difficult that you keep delaying?  Is it something for work or is it personal?  Is it weighing on your mind?  Why not try and scratch that activity off your to-do list by tackling it first thing in the morning?  Commit to getting the hard thing done first and you may experience a lightness of being the rest of the day.  What do you have to lose?