Brain Food

February 14, 2017

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions


David Simon


There are a dozen tasks clogging up your to-do list, and you have no idea which one to tackle first. If you don’t start being productive fast, you’re going to rage-quit all your tabs and escape to a guilt-inducing two-hour lunch.

Productivity? There’s an algorithm for that

Fret not. Math is here to help.

Here are two algorithms – series of statistically-driven, problem-solving steps – that will help you regain control of your workload:

Not sure which task to start working on first? Use the Earliest Due Date algorithm: begin with the task that has the nearest deadline, and then work from there.

Can’t possibly get everything done in the time you have? Apply Moore’s Algorithm: skip the task that sucks up the most time. This enables you to get many other tasks done in its place, thereby adding to your productivity.

Curious about how else math can help you, including the best way to select an apartment? Get our blinks to Algorithms to Live By, by Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths.

Read or listen to a powerful short from this book in just 15 minutes on Blinkist:

Algorithms to Live by, By Brian Christian
  • So true. That’s a good share. Thanks Dave

  • This is what we do here and our colour coded tracking system ensures that all tasks are completed within the designated deadline.