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Do the worst task first

Kathryn Vercillo, Create Me Free

"One of the most effective tools that I’ve learned along the way and now implement regularly is the concept of “worst first.” The idea is that there’s one task that you often dread most, want to procrastinate, or feel stressed about … and the best thing to do is actually get it out of the way first thing in the day. That way, you don’t spend the entire day in unproductive feelings of dread, but instead you get that thing done so you can feel great the rest of the day. It generates momentum as well, giving more energy to the tasks that follow.

Before I do this, however, I start my day with an initial morning routine. I follow Julia Cameron's "Morning Pages" technique, allowing all the things in my mind to flow out onto at least three handwritten pages of "purge." I implement a variety of mental health techniques (grounding, resourcing, meditation) to get myself centered. Then I review my list of things I'd like to accomplish (made at the end of the previous day) and prioritize them.

This is when "worst first" comes into play. I feel it in my gut, going through that list, what the thing is that day that I really, really don't want to do. Often, it's related to phone calls because they're kind of the bane of my existence. However, sometimes it's a hard part of a creative writing process, sometimes it's a marketing thing ... whatever it is, I start my day with that. I create a bullet list of the steps it will take to get it done then I just dive in. It feels so good when it has been completed. It really starts the day with focus and lends itself well to continued productivity."

Advice Contributor

Kathryn Vercillo

Kathryn started her business, Create Me Free, to inform, inspire, and empower artists toward holistic success using her master’s degree in psychology and extensive research on the interactions between art/craft/creativity and mental health/wellness/psychology.

See Kathryn's Site