One pickle at at time
Growing up, we always had a Bick’s jar of pickles in the fridge. How about you? If you ever tried, you would know that it’s nearly impossible to fish out two pickles at a time from the jar.
Growing up, we always had a jar of Bick’s pickles in the fridge. How about you?
If you ever tried, you would know that it’s nearly impossible to fish out two pickles at a time or choose the perfect one if it’s buried at the bottom. Sure, you can finagle long enough and get it done, but the point is that it’s much more efficient if you prioritize.
With a culture that constantly celebrates more and bigger as better, we seek ways to do more with the time we have.
We send work emails while playing with our children. We answer messages from co-workers while driving to the store. We check incoming Slack messages while we FaceTime with friends and family.
To make matters worse, some hiring managers and recruiters add “multitasking” as a skill in job descriptions, as if it mattered.
Humans cannot focus on two things at a time. Biologically, when we do two things simultaneously, our focus constantly switches between competing items, expending (wasting) an immense amount of glucose energy.
Multitasking from an efficiency perspective is a myth.
It’s worth adding that nowadays, with all the distractions, it’s hard to focus on a single thing at a time, let alone add a second, a third, etc.
Instead, we need to develop our ability to prolong focus, better prioritize, and schedule our work. These skills are considerably more effective than multitasking could ever be.
Next time you pull the pickle jar from the fridge, instead, focus on the bigger one that is within reach, don’t waste time and energy reaching for more. And go for seconds.
PS. After writing this post, I stumbled on the pickle jar theory during my search for pickle jars, which is, funny enough, a time management theory.
Sparknotion – Think Differently.