Majority of people would love getting easy tasks with fewer challenges and small risks – while only a few individuals willingly take a challenging project with higher risks. What about you? Are you among the majority or the few?
Whichever you belong to, everyone has different productivity when it comes to doing projects. However, a working paper on “Task Selection and Workload” found that easier tasks only offer a short-term sense of satisfaction which could result negatively in long-term productivity.
The research team studied physicians in an urban emergency room where the workflow was unpredictable. The observations revealed that those who choose to complete an easy task over hard ones generating less long-term profit for the hospital than those who saw more difficult cases first. Researchers also assigned participants to either high-workload or low-workload conditions, where they found that participants choosing high-workload conditions derived high task completion bias, reporting that they enjoyed positive feelings they derived from completing each task. In other words, they received high completion.
Moreover, choosing difficult tasks over easy ones can actually help you understand ‘real thinking’. Study on “Inference in the Brain” suggested that when our brain’s bias does not match reality, it can lead to severe problems. Researchers tested participants’ brain processes by providing two options for simple results. The finding showed that simple tasks limit our computations and neural activity in a domain where the true power and adaptability of the brain is hidden. It concludes that constantly taking simple tasks over difficult ones might decrease our creativity as well as problem-solving thinking. At worse, our brain might not function better as it should be.
Likewise, taking up a hard job that your boss gives you can help boost your reputation within an organisation. Difficult job represents that you are a top-performing employee since you handled a difficult project well. So, surely, you can tackle easy projects better. Thusly, your reputation will obtain a significant boost, Ganesh Raj, an independent workday consultant and a writer, said.
Moreover, difficult projects will allow you to gain better insight into different roles in the company. For example, when you face a difficult client, upper management might need to get involved, allowing you to learn better and prepare better for an upper management role in the near future.
Yet, as difficult project matters most, should you always say yes to it?
The answer would be ‘most likely’, depending on your current need and wellbeing. Taking difficult project constantly will hinder your way to decent work-life balance. You might also suffer from stressful jobs due to a heavy workload. Hence, instead of being more productive and having better performance, you have threatened your overall wellbeing by those strenuous tasks.
Therefore, do let your co-workers take over the difficult project once in a while. Hand them the opportunity to shine with you. A better way, you can over collaborative work with trusted co-workers to perform and handle that tough project. Additionally, doing this will not only increase your interpersonal skills but also increase your likeability of being a star performer in your field and/or amongst other employees.