Complete Easiest or Toughest task first? Finally answered

Easiest Task First Vs Difficult Task First

If you look at your normal day, how do you go by it? You will have a list of things to do and you begin completing them one after another. Simple, isn’t it? Not quite.

The benefits of completing the easier tasks first:

  • If you consider the task count, you will accomplish a few things quickly in the morning
  • For many, getting started in the morning is the most difficult challenge. A few easy things completed sets the tone for the rest of the day.
  • You build enough momentum that you can keep going and accomplish more during the day

The cons of completing the easier tasks first

  • The most difficult things to do can get procrastinated for later in the day or left incomplete
  • You are going through the day with a mental burden that you have that difficult task to complete later in the day

The benefits of completing the most difficult task first:

  • With the hardest one completed, the rest of them seem more easier to complete
  • You are completing the difficult task early in the day when your body and mind is fresh and energetic. Since you are tired later in the day, the difficult task seems all the more difficult. (This can again be subjective because some people can be lethargic in the morning and at their productive best later in the day)

The cons of completing the most difficult tasks first:

  • The discomfort associated with picking up the most difficult task can prolong the time required to get started
  • You might spend a long time on the most difficult task leading to lot of easier tasks left pending which you could have completed in a few minutes each

Which one to pick first?

Both these styles have their own pros and cons which you cannot disregard. So what is the best style to follow?

A combination of both!

It is critical to build momentum on anything that you are working on, whether it is the next big thing or the start of your day. So, start off with about 2–3 few easy things to do on that day. Quickly complete them and you would have got your dopamine rush. You are now high on energy and motivation.

Once you complete the most difficult task, reward yourself by picking up a few easier tasks again before picking up the next difficult one.

Exercise to complete easy and difficult tasks

As an exercise, start your day tomorrow exactly as outlined in this article.

  • Pick 2–3 tasks when you begin your day which take about 5 min each to complete
  • Once completed, pick a difficult task to complete
  • Reward yourself by picking up a few more easy tasks
  • Pick another difficult task
  • Repeat the cycle


You now know the advantages and disadvantages of both models. There are benefits of doing the easier task first and also some drawbacks. The same applies to completing the difficult tasks too.



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Productive Club - Maxim Dsouza

Productive Club - Maxim Dsouza

How To Chase Your Goals And Achieve Them — Productivity, Time Management & Decision Making: