The 365 Commitment

Queuing Strategy

Not all work is the same, and not all work should be the same priority. So when you take on tasks, do you have a queuing strategy? If you do not then you run a very high and real risk that you will end up spending more time than you should on tasks that are not that important to you and your goals. So what are some possible queuing strategies?

FIFO and LIFO basically stand for first in and first out, and last in first out. Most people accidently do LIFO. They work on the thing that just came up first and the overdue stuff continues to be delayed. The problem with either of these is that they do NOT consider appropriateness or applicability to your personal goals in life. You become victim to all the others around you assigning you tasks.

The concept of queuing and the consideration behind dealing with backlog, or people in line, or things to do has been around a long time. This became a formal area of research in and around World War 2. Clearly, the logistical challenges of a world war really impacted our ability to work on, ship out, deploy what was more important and what needed attention first.

It was after this queuing theory really exploded and there is a lot to learn by reviewing some of those developments. One, for example, was the concept of Shortest Processing Time First. Meaning, what you work on is what you can knock out the fastest. Anyway, not going to dive into all of those theories, there are many. The important point is to have a conscious, mindful approach to what you work on first and why. The better you get at this, the more time you will spend on what is important to you and the faster you will achieve your goals.

Guy Reams

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