This post from Seth Godin about the first thing you do when you sit down at the computer really made me think. He writes:
…the first thing you do should be to lay tracks to accomplish your goals, not to hear how others have reacted/responded/insisted to what happened yesterday.
He’s right about my habits: usually the first thing I do in the morning is read emails and tweets, then work on client-related tasks. I’ve always figured it’s best to get what has to be done out of the way first thing. That usually gives me several hours in the afternoon to work on this blog, my upcoming course, pitching publications I want to write for, etc. In other words, my afternoon is my creative time.
But this morning I tried something different. I rolled out of bed and sat at my desk in my pajamas, like I always do. (Mind you, this idea could work even if you work at an office.) But instead of checking things off my to-do list, I pulled up my blog to write a few posts. I spent my first hour putting something out into the world, rather than consuming.
In a way, this approach forces us to put what’s important first. Yes, we have lots of tasks we have to get done during a day, and so in our minds, that’s the most important work. But is that the work that’s going to make a difference in the world? Are those the projects you feel most proud of?
What would happen if you worked on creating first?