Stack-based versus queue-based

Matt Webb on the difference between stack—based and queue-based styles. Which I intrinsically knew but had never thought about, which makes it the same as not knowing:

I have a stack of experiments I want to build. But it is never top priority to go through my list and draw/develop/combine/prioritise/next-steps then all. Let alone those that could be businesses in their own right! Those are the ones I really need to carve out time to develop.

I ran across the idea recently that you operate a queue-based or stack-based priority list.

With a queue, you work down from the top, crossing off tasks as you go, and add new ones to the bottom.

Stack-based: you add and take from the top, optionally re-ordering the stack based on priority.

I have always been stack-based. (Which anyone who has ever emailed me will recognise. If the email is in the top 6 at the exact moment I am looking at my phone, I will reply immediately. If not it will be buried forever. Sorry.)

Which begs the question: given scarce attention, how do you get to the tasks which are lower down the stack but none-the-less vital? Answers on a postcard please.

The smart thing to do would be the take my wish list of experiments, and cherrypick for possible collabs. Write up a project pitch every time I’m about to gave a conversation, so I have something in my back pocket.

Huh. Maybe I actually should do that.