“It’s always easy to take the easy way out. That’s why you should do the hard stuff first!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
If you don’t put in the work, the future will be out of reach! And if you don’t do the hard work, tackling all the easy stuff will be essentially meaningless.
And yet, we seem to be engineered to always put the hard stuff at the back of our project list.
Why is that? Consider the process of innovation – progress often involves a regular, fitful series of steps often interrupted by small moments of success. We stumble and pause because we often spend much of our time putting barriers in the way rather than focusing on what we need to do to move forward.
One of the ways we do that is by freaking ourselves out about the scope of what we are trying to do!
Here’s why: we often start out any project or new initiative with the easiest steps – knowing in the back of our minds that there is much more difficult effort yet to come. And so while we proceed, we always keep those difficult things in the back of our mind, letting them fester, watching their scope and complexity grow. That makes them seem far more formidable and very much out of reach …. to such a degree that we’ll end up abandoning our efforts because it just … seems …. too ….much.
In effect, by pushing them to the back of our schedule, we place them on a pedestal of overwhelming challenge that only gets more complex with time.
Make that issue go away! The way to get around this is to flip the script, turn our approach upside, take a different direction – do the hardest things first if you can.
Get them out of the way, and suddenly they won’t seem as worrisome!
Do the hard stuff first – and you might discover they weren’t that hard after all!