Eating dessert first

by Jun 1, 2016Health

Do you start your day by checking your email?
Do you spend all morning picking the low hanging fruit, only to get to the afternoon and not have the energy for your Top Task?

Stop eating dessert first.


At the end of every work day, we should be looking at our day ahead and determine our Top Three Tasks for the next day. Ideally, we would be starting our day working on one of these. In a productive day, we would be working on all three before we start on administrative or routine tasks. These Top Tasks are our line of genius, they are what we are hired for. They don’t often give us a quick win because we can finish them in a matter of seconds, but when they are complete, they are the gourmet main dish.

By checking email or doing menial tasks, we give ourselves quick wins. Adrenaline and serotonin boosters that make us feel good and that we accomplished something. But really, is living in your inbox and doing administrative tasks the reason why your company chose you over someone else? Are you growing your business with those quick wins or is that course you need to create, project you need to complete or graphic you need to design why people hire you?

dessert2

Stop eating dessert first!

A healthy and productive person would know that starting on their most complicated or likely-to-be-procrastinated on task first, they are setting themselves to get the work done. The later in the day it gets, the more decision fatigue sets in and the likelihood doing it well, or even do it at all, decreases. This is the same reason that starting your day with a healthy breakfast sets you up to make healthier decisions throughout the day. You're more likely to reach for those sweet treats and crinkly packages when you have lost some of your willpower monkeys and it gets later in the day or evening.

Eating dessert first or tackling your least effective tasks may prevent you from getting the nutritious main course, or important project done.

Start your day with your Top Task and save dessert for your reward.

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects