Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search Products
Filter by Categories
Company Secretarial
General Business
General Interest
Investing in Property
Personal Growth
Personal Wealth
Trusts and Estate Planning

We all have times when there are just a stack of jobs to do and we have to decide which ones we’re going to tackle first. A knowledge of queueing theory can help us decide.

Suppose you have 5 jobs in the queue and each one will take a different amount of time –

Job 1 – 7 hours; Job 2 – 3 hours; Job 3 – 5 hours; Job 4 – 1 hour; Job 5 – 12 hours

If you do the longest job first, then the next longest and so on, doing the shortest job last, then the waiting times are –

Job 5 Job 1 Job 3 Job 2 Job 4 Total
Job time 12 7 5 3 1 28 hours
Waiting time 12 12 + 7 = 19 19 + 5 = 24 24 + 3 = 27 27 + 1 = 28 110 hours


D’you see that the 1 hour job waited for 28 hours before it was finished?

Now, what if you do the quickest job first, then the next quickest and so on, doing the longest job last –

Job 4 Job 2 Job 3 Job 1 Job 5 Total
Job time 1 3 5 7 12 28 hours
Waiting time 1 1 + 3 = 4 4 + 5 = 9 9 + 7 = 16 16 + 12 = 28 43 hours


Notice that either way it will take you 28 hours to finish all jobs, but by doing the quickest job first you cut the total waiting time from 110 hours to 43!

So, all else being equal, tackle the quickest job first.

Of course, you have to take care that the longer jobs do get done, otherwise they will just keep sinking to the bottom of the In Box.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Need help with your Trust or Business?

Contact us today or set up a free meeting with our CEO, Derek Springett. We have been offering expert advice and business services since 1971. You can also view see our full list of services.

If you enjoyed this article, you may like to subscribe to the monthly round up featuring all of my latest articles. Then check out the three books I have written which have proved to be very popular.

Complete the form below to subscribe to my monthly round up.

Do you want to leave your cart?

Your cart is awaiting your next purchase, so please proceed to the Home page and continue shopping. If you are leaving your cart because of problems, why not give us a call on our 24 hr numbers 063 866 8928 or 011 805 0030 (subject to load shedding)? If all else fails, call Derek, our CEO on 082 552 9696. We’ll do what we can to help