The classic approach to paying off debts—tackling them from the largest (so you save on interest) to the smallest—may not be the best strategy in the long haul.
Instead, a Texas A&M study found, “snowballing” the debts—paying off the smallest first—may motivate debtors to not give up on the task.
Subjects were given tedious typing tasks, sorted by “easiest first” or “easiest last.” Those who got to do the easiest first were about 13% more productive.
“Completing tasks in ascending order of difficulty leads to better performance,” says study head Alex Brown.
Start small, win big down the road.