First Thing, Let’s Kill All The Monsters

If you really want to be more productive, the 1st thing you have to do each morning is “kill all monsters.”

You most likely already know exactly what I'm talking about.

The “monsters” are those things that you need to do each day that are important but unpleasant.

Maybe you don't even think of them as unpleasant, but you still have a difficult time getting yourself to do them. You procrastinate. You find excuses.

You just don't get around to killing those monsters.

The good news about this is we all know exactly what our own “monsters” are. We have no trouble identifying them.

Here's how to deal with this problem: start each day by making a list of your “monsters” for that day.

Then go and slay them.

Before you do anything else.

Do it with speed, efficiency, and gusto.

Motivate yourself by imagining how good it will feel to have these things off your list.

Once you have finished all of your “monster killing” for the day, you can move on to the more mundane stuff.

And you can do it with perfect peace, knowing that the hardest work of the day is already done.

Question: what are your typical “monsters” on a given day? How do you attack them? Please share in the comments below.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • My monsters are:
    1. Bookkeeping, particularly: downloading data into my Quickbooks, reconciling my accounts, and reviewing my profit and loss and other reports in Quickbooks.
    2. Keeping on top of the invoicing of my clients.
    3. Going over my website’s analytics and PPC campaign in Google.
    Recently I haven’t attacked them. I’ve let them fester in the back of my mind. I am now going to attack number two on my list.

  • MattVestrand

    My biggest monsters to kill are phone calls.  I absolutely despise having to make phone calls. I don’t like waiting on hold, I don’t like playing phone tag, I don’t like holding a headset up to my ear.  I don’t want to talk on the phone!!  
    I get up at 4:30am, so I cannot really take care of them first.  And frankly, phone calls don’t make any money for me.  I almost always have to make them to take care of minutia.
    So I usually let my necessary phone calls to make pile up for several days, then in one sitting I’ll dial all the numbers.  If I make contact great. If not, I leave a detailed voicemail and encourage the recipient to email me back or to respond with a very detailed voicemail (to save on phone tag – it usually works out). 

  • My morning monsters are phone calls and emails.
    The phone calls have to wait until the time zone I am calling is in the office.  If I want them out of the way first, I usually have to leave a message where they call back  – usually at an inconvenient time.
    Checking my emails can be good and bad.  Good that I am catching up on information and seeing who is trying to contact me but bad because I always seems to click on those links that get me hooked into reading something for an hour. Then there goes my morning!

  • I love the description. Slay the dragons first, then you won’t have to spend the rest of the day worrying about where they’re hiding, waiting to get you!

  • My morning ‘monster’ has become my exercise program. I feel like I need to be writing and creating during the morning hours, but I also want to be out walking and exercising. I have decided to change my exercise routine to early afternoons, thereby eliminating the ‘monster’ altogether. Am I missing your point with this thinking?