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Why You Should Knock Out the Most Unpleasant Task First Thing in Your Day


by Glenn Shepard
July 18, 2017
Category: Time Management




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Did You Know?

63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

Source: "Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals" by Thomas Corley, CPA, CFP 

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It's a great paradox.

The less you get paid, the less disciplined you have to be at time management because your work is cut out for you.

The higher you move up the management ladder, the better you have to get at time management because your job will be less structured, and you'll have more demands on your time.

Here's a quick way to get more accomplished in less time.

Divide everything you have to do into four categories:

1. Pleasant and Productive
2. Unpleasant but Productive
3. Pleasant but Unproductive
4. Unpleasant and Unproductive

Obviously categories 3 and 4 - tasks that need to be done but are not particularly productive (like paperwork and administrative tasks) - should be moved down your list. This is especially critical when you’re self-employed.

Categories 1 and 2 – the ones that are productive – come first.
But here's the mistake most people make. When given two tasks that are equally productive – but one is pleasant and the other is dreaded – they'll do the more pleasant one first.

Bad idea.

Instead, do the productive but most miserable thing you have to do first thing in the morning.

Call the client you need to call but dread talking to because he's a jerk. Go through the counseling session with your top producing sales rep who's getting off track.

Whatever it is, there are three reasons you should do it first:

1. Because human fatigue is a factor, you'll be at your best in the morning when you're fresh – even if you're not a morning person.

2. No matter how emotionally draining it may be, you'll be more energized after it's over because you'll feel a sense of accomplishment.

3. Other tasks will seem easier and less unpleasant because you already knocked out the one you dreaded the most first

It sounds ridiculously simple, but it's a remarkably powerful method.
Try it and you'll be amazed.

To Your Success,


Glenn Shepard

This method of time management parallels Dave Ramsey's "Debt Snowball" method of paying off the credit card with the smallest balance ( instead of the one with the highest interest rate) first. The earlier you get a small victory under your belt, the sooner you build momentum.

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