Skip Non-Sequential Problems

Most people enjoy a good challenge, and few people like leaving problems unsolved. The vast majority of driven people are perfectionists and cannot accept failure in any form. Face a problem, big or small, and it must be solved.

Okay, I can appreciate that. Problems should be solved. But the key question few people ask when facing a problem is: When? If a solution is prerequisite to the next task or nearing an impending deadline, then you should face the problem immediately. Without question.

If the problem is independent from other tasks, has no deadline before any other task, and plays no role in a task sequence, then seriously consider putting it off until later. Perfectionists get far too preoccupied with solving problems that are often insignificant compared to the other tasks that could be accomplished through the same energy invested in finding a solution. It makes no sense to spend ten hours solving one problem when you could tackle a dozen other tasks in the same timeframe.

I am not saying you should avoid the problem altogether; I’m merely suggesting that you mitigate risk by moving on and tackling the lion’s share of tasks first before re-approaching the single problem task that could possibly suck your time dry.