You’ve likely heard the saying, “First things first,” but did you know it’s also a trait of emotionally intelligent leaders?

It turns out this old adage helps us push through negative feelings, move forward and do what we need to do. And in addition to being downright practical, this approach comes with additional benefits, according to Justin Barison for

It keeps you moving

When you have more work than you can handle, the temptation is to not do anything. But by creating a new list of just two or three tasks, things look manageable again. You regain control of your emotions, allowing you to once more be productive.

It builds momentum

Think about that feeling you experience once you finish a task. Then another. And another.

Next thing you know, you’re hooked.

You see more clearly

Once you start building momentum, you build the tunnel. Once you make enough progress, you can clearly see the path forward. And once you see the path, it really starts to get good. Because now …

You believe

Things are no longer dark. The impossible task is no longer impossible. Seeing the path forward turns into hope, and hope turns into reality.