Do the Worst Thing on Your To-Do List First -- Science of Us
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
Barker is drawing here from the scientific literature on self-control, the bulk of which has suggested that willpower is a limited resource, something that becomes depleted as the day wears on. It’s similar to the reason that behavioral scientist Dan Ariely has suggested that the first two hours of your day are likely to be your most productive. Your self-control is at its peak first thing in the morning, so this is the best time to make yourself do the stuff you really would rather not do. “The longer people have been awake, the more self-control problems happen,” Roy F. Baumeister, a psychology researcher at Florida State University and one of the leading experts on willpower, tells Barker. “Most things go bad in the evening. Diets are broken at the evening snack, not at breakfast or in the middle of the morning. Impulsive crimes are mostly committed after midnight.”
As Barker phrases it, “What’s that thing you’re going to feel guilty about having not done?” Identify that and do it first, in the fleeting moments when you still have the willpower with which to get it done.
It's a great idea, but it assumes:
1) that you're organized enough to have a to-do list, or some other prioritization of things to do, and
2) that you're both self aware enough, and brave enough, to own up to the most difficult things you need to do
Fir some people, some days, these things are just aspirations