Getting Things Done

Do Something Significant First


Do Something Significant

What is the ‘roller coaster effect’?

Do Something Significant First

  • Think of how a roller coaster works:
    • The first hill is a doozyIt takes a lot of time, energy, and effort to get over it – least fun part of the ride
    • After the first hill, momentum kicks in – Once you’ve overcome the first hill, the rest of the hills are easier to go overdue to the momentum generated from getting past the first hill

Successful, productive days work the same way

  • The order in which you complete tasks each day has the same effect
    • The first task is a doozy – When you do something significant first each day, it’s going to be hard, take a lot of energy, and probably not going to be much fun
    • After the first task, momentum kicks in – Completing a significant task first builds momentum for completing the rest of your tasks more easily

The effect of going in the opposite direction

Do Something Significant First

  • On a roller coaster – The might easily get over the first few hills, but the last big hill would be virtually insurmountable due to a lack of momentum
  • During your day – You might easily complete several small tasks, but by the end of the day, you’ll lack the momentum to complete the big task that still needs to be done

Significant tasks to do first/small tasks to avoid

  • Significant – Putting together a presentation, writing and publishing a blog post, or recording and editing a video or two
  • Small – Reading the news, checking Facebook/Twitter, watering the plants


Do Something Significant First

  • For the next 3 days in a row, work on something significant first – something that may take a lot of time/energy, or something you just don’t enjoy doing
  • Pay attention to how using this strategy affects your overall productivity

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