Want to Be More Productive? Do This Task First
Some people choose to keep their mornings for themselves - no meetings or disturbances until after lunch.
Others choose to schedule all their meetings before lunch. Some choose to knock out the smallest tasks first. Others start with the big kahuna.
There's rationale to all of these, and in truth they can each work well. But there's one way of arranging your day that takes the productivity cake.
Each day we have a limited amount of brain power. We know this, because work makes us tired. You start with limited resources that you have to choose to use wisely.
That's why so many prominent figures like Steve Jobs and President Obama wear basically the same thing everyday. It doesn't take any brain power to wear the same thing, leaving more cognitive power for more important things.
How you use your limited cognitive power dictates how quickly it goes or how long it stays. For instance, if you show up at 7:30am for a 5-hour SAT, the rest of your day is shot. But if you do something enjoyable, even fulfilling, then your cognitive resources increase. What does that mean? It means you should always do your most creative task(s) first.
You can do busy work anytime, right? Each person has the most cognitive resources in the morning. By stimulating yourself with creative, productive tasks first, you enable yourself to be fulfilled and to keep a positive outlook for the day.
How you start your day sets a precedent for the rest of it. Creativity leads to both more stimulation and higher levels of positivity/happiness, both of which improve your productivity throughout the day.
Maybe starting with your most creative tasks first means keeping your meetings first thing. Maybe it means working alone, listening to music, and just focusing for the first couple of hours.
For me it means writing and editing are the first things I do every morning. However it transposes into your role, if you want to be more productive, you need to do your most creative task(s) first.