Low Hanging Fruits

Feed the Dog.

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“Low hanging fruits” is a phrase that has been in the English language for a long time, some say even since the 17th century. The concept is very simple. It basically references any person or thing that can be won or obtain with little effort.

In terms of productivity, this concept can be applied to increase our efficiency each day in our work and personal life. The goal is to do the simplest and easy task first if possible, then focus on the harder task. In doing so, not only will you get things done, but your mind will be less stressed.

Let’s look at how this concept is applied to our personal lives. For example, let’s say that for a random day, you had to get groceries, wash the dishes, water the lawn, and eventually feed the dog. The easiest task to do here would most likely be feeding the dog as it takes about 30 seconds to complete. However, because it takes 30 seconds to complete, we often leave it as the last task for the day. Instead, we should do it first. If we leave it last and do all the hard work first, the “to-do” list in our mind will gradually wear our brains throughout the day until that “easy” task is done, causing us to be tired and always double checking ourselves hoping we haven’t forgotten to do something. By the time we actually get done with everything prior to our easy task, we may not even have time to do it because something unexpected could have happened with the first 3 task we had to do. Now we end up scrambling around and forget to feed our dog, and then hate us forever for it. We could have saved our brain power and feel better throughout the day by doing feeding the dog first.

Next we’ll look at how this concept helps us in our work life. Let’s say you’re a bartender and you have a few patrons at your bar. Being a bartender has to have a right combination of personality, attentiveness, and knowledge to be successful. Right now your bar is fine and everyone is happy doing their thing, and at this moment, you have a patron that asks you for another drink and right when that is done, 2 new people come and sits at your bar. Now saying your greetings such as Hi or Hello or I’ll be with you in a second is very easy and takes probably 2 seconds. But because you’re in the middle of your task of making a drink, you ignore them until your drink is done, then you attend to the two new customers. While this is not necessary wrong, it does make you look bad when you don’t have to. By stopping for two seconds to address the customers, not only do you accomplish the fact of acknowledging them, but letting the customers know that they’re next up in line. The customer will be satisfied and you can go back to what you’re doing. Let’s see how the situation plays out when you do not address the new customers. Not only will they feel disrespected, they’ll start harboring negative feelings for you, before you two even exchange words. Additionally, your customers will associate you as the stereotypical douche bartender, and most likely would consider you giving them bad service, leading to a very small tip.

The idea of completing the simplest task first will greatly enhance our lives. Everyone is busy trying to be the best they can be and the world constantly needs our attention. The low-hanging fruit concept allows us to decrease this pull and helps us steady ourselves one task at a time. And as we complete one task after another, we start feeling a sense of accomplishment that provides us with the momentum to continue on. It provides us with the confidence we need to tackle the hardest task, completing this game we call life.

Author: Nhan Le

By way of Anaheim, CA.

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