Friday, January 31, 2014

J.R.'s Contrarian Gold Prospecting and Mining Principles (Part 3)


 (Taking the contrarian view typically means doing what others don't or won't do.)

Yep, here we go again. Another installment in my series on applying contrarian principles to your gold prospecting and mining endeavors.

CONTRARIAN PRINCIPLE #3: Focus your efforts, don't "multi-task."

You hear quite a bit these days about multi-tasking and how prevalent it is in today's hustle-bustle world. In fact, I've actually heard people claim enthusiastically that they were expert multi-taskers (folks who can perform a variety of tasks simultaneously)...all stated with great pride and a smug sense of self-accomplishment.

Well, guess what? The contrarian view is that multi-tasking is pure, unadulterated BS. Recent studies have proven that multi-taskers are nowhere near as efficient at getting things done as their single-focus counterparts are. Here's the thing...you can either do one thing really, really well or a dozen half-assed. And half-assed is essentially what multi-tasking is...whether multi-taskers choose to accept that fact or not.

Task at Hand

One of the simplest and most dangerous examples of multi-tasking these days is presented by the idiots, clowns, and "suicide charlies" who zip in and out of traffic like maniacs or barely roll along at 35 mph in the freeway fast lane yakking away like magpies on their cell phones or tapping and texting items to friends or relatives that are omg!...wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more important than traffic safety or human life and limb.

 (Multi-tasking at its finest...)

Me? I cringe each and every time some dummy chattering away on a cell phone or too busy texting pulls up behind me at a traffic light or fails to yield the fast lane while they fiddle with their iPod. Why? Because I expect to be rear ended or otherwise put in a hard spot because these fools aren't focusing on the road and their driving. After all, THAT IS the task at hand, isn't it? But I'm sure if you angrily yanked them out the driver-side window of their vehicle they'd be real quick to tell you what great multi-taskers they are. (God forbid any of you fall into the above category or take umbrage with my view of multi-taskers here, but if the shoe fits you'll just have to wear it.)

Focus, Focus, Focus

I know, I know...there are a ton of multi-taskers in your workplace. The same is true here where I work. Want to know how efficient these multi-taskers are from my somewhat exaggerated workplace  point-of-view? Not very, if the truth be told. Unless you count tasks such as sitting on your ass for hours BSing with your buddies, ordering crap you don't need at taxpayer expense, making countless personal phone calls, ogling certain female staff members or admins, and/or constantly bitching about how tough things are as you take another 2-hour lunch break. Yep! Multi-tasking at its best for sure.


Multi-tasking may not be quite as dangerous or insipid when it comes to gold prospecting and mining activities but it sure as hell isn't going to do you much good in the long run either. When it comes to the contrarian view it's always your best bet to focus your efforts 100% on the solitary task at hand and not dissipate your energies or efforts trying to do a half dozen things at once. Yes, prospecting and mining are essentially process-oriented activities but that doesn't mean you try and do each and every step of the process simultaneously (usually you can't anyway since prospecting and mining are typically sequenced, step-by-step activities).

Now I'm Asking You...

Listen up one and all...I don't give a rat's rear end if you're just bucketing up and classifying gravel or setting up your suction dredge...take things one step at a time. Pay attention and perform each task right the first time, with care and thoughtfulness. Perform each step of the process well and then move on to the next step. Take pride in what you know and what you do. You are part of a long and proud tradition, despite whatever individual failings miners may have had back in the day. The point of the matter is that multi-tasking is for losers, no matter how much multi-taskers BS themselves otherwise.

I've been in this gold prospecting and mining thing since I was a young man and I'm no longer young. That should tell you something. I didn't get to this point in my erstwhile mining career by dissipating my strengths through multi-tasking. I got here by practicing the advice given me by an old friend long ago..."Take it one day at a time."

Now I'm asking you to forget the multi-tasking and take the contrarian view...one step at a time.

(c) Jim Rocha 2014

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com

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