Last Things First

If you're a busy guy like me, sometimes it helps to do the last things first. We all have our certain priorities such as certain tasks at work, quiet time with our family and catching up on our favorite shows on DVR. We tend to let other things like applying for a better job, quiet time alone and taking care of pesky chores fall by the wayside. If you want to get those items that constantly grace the bottom of your to-do list completely off forever, try getting them out of the way first thing in the morning.

I have a lot of wonderful opportunities coming up, such as a guest stint on Children's Book Insider and a workshop with author Robyn Okrant. With the writing challenge and the additional freelance work I've been taking on, not to mention my training for the May 10 mile race, I've been putting off moving forward on these opportunities. By making last things first on my to-do list a few days in a row, I'm easily able to make progress in these areas, thus freeing me up to add new items to my list.

When you always keep last things last, you can get stuck or get in trouble. If I put off doing my chores too many days in a row, we'll end up with dirty dishes and a sticky floor. If I put off opportunities to make progress professionally that aren't particularly urgent, those opportunities will start to fade away. Obviously, you shouldn't always make the low priority parts of your day the highest parts on all occasions, but if you make last things first every so often, you can lift a weight off of your shoulders allowing you to look ahead to the future.

The key to putting last things first is to get up right away in the morning, a little bit early if you can stand it and immediately get these objects off of your life. If you wait too long to think about doing them, you might convince yourself that you should be doing something better with your time. And you might be right, but life isn't just about doing what you're supposed to do every day. You need to go above and beyond at least some of the time or you'll get caught in molasses for the rest of your time here.

Try it today or tomorrow. Send that e-mail you've been meaning to. Read a few pages of that life-changing book a friend lent you. Back in high school or college, you didn't always have extra credit assignments available when you truly needed them to raise your grades. Here in life, you always have extra credit available. Get some of those forward-thinking bottom-priority things off your list so that you can look ahead toward the extra credit assignments of passion and purpose.

Done with Last Things First? Go back to Motivation Techniques.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.