Do Worst First

by Dwayne Phillips

Lots of things to do. Which do I do first? Perhaps I go with the worst first.

When my sons were little, they had tactics about the order in which they ate their food at dinner. One tactic was “worst first” in which they ate their least favorite food first so that they ended the meal with a good experience. Kids.

People have studied job queuing theory (and how to spell queueing queuing) for many years. There are many tasks to do, which do you do first? There is “first come, first served” and “save the best for last” and “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and “age before beauty” and the like.

My “do worst first” seems to work for me these past couple of years. I am going to write a few things like blog posts. Some have been in the “I’ll get to it” list for a while. I need to do them, but really can’t find the energy. Others are easy and fresh and will pop out in a minute. If I do the easy ones first, that saps my energy for the moment and I don’t write the difficult ones.

The easy ones are easy. Do the worst first. Once done, the easy ones still pop out because they don’t require much energy.

Again note that this is what has worked for me the past couple of years. There were other times in my life when other queuing ideas worked better for me. Find what works best for you at this place at this time and use it.


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Dwayne Phillips

Engineer, computing, consulting, writing, teaching, and a few other things in an effort to make us all better and smarter.