I love to eat grapes, I just don’t like the process of preparing them. When you think about it, they are packaged in the least convenient way possible for consumption. (Probably the point, no?) The only way to prepare grapes is to pluck them off the vine one-by-one, then wash them en masse. As I stood over the kitchen sink plucking and washing today, I thought “there has to be a better way to do this.”Several thoughts passed through my head. I could:
- Grab them by the handful and pluck them, hoping (beyond hope) to avoid remnants of the vine still attached to the fruit
- Shake them so that only the weaker fruit falls off, making it easier to get to the rest
- Sit and have someone feed them to me one at a time Roman Emperor style
After mulling over several possibilities, I finally decided that I was probably better off just sticking with the plan of plucking the grapes one at a time. This way there are no remnants, I choose only the ripe grapes to eat, and there is less overall waste. It takes longer, but the results are worth it.
Somehow my brain jumped the rails from cleaning grapes to work. How often do I try to do multiple things at once, with dubious results and lots of circling back to correct my efforts later? How often am I sitting with my son, distracted by thought, only to find him repeating the same sentence multiple times so that I hear him? How often do I feel like I should be doing something else right now?
I’m trying to do a lot at the same time. Preparing for the launch of my first book (woohoo!), growing a business (or two, or now three), spending good time with the family, getting plenty of writing in each day, etc. It’s difficult to not feel at all times like there’s something else I should be doing that’s more important.
There are certainly many ways of getting lots done simultaneously, but in the end isn’t it more about doing it right and being fully engaged in the process? I question the notion – and the science is starting to bear out that my hunch is correct – that multitasking is really more productive at all.
The greatest efforts in life are done with singular attention. In the end, the results are worth it.
I aspire to live my life like I clean my grapes: quickly, thoroughly, but with focused attention. How about you?
Photo credit: Nick AllenRelated posts: