Chopping 10 trees at the same time

Erikjan Lantink
3 min readApr 1, 2022

Why clever woodchoppers would never do this!

One tree at a time

Have you ever seen a woodchopper running around in a forest trying to chop ten trees simultaneously?

Imagine the scene.

Every time he gets to a tree, he chops at it a few times, and then he goes on to the next tree. After some considerable time running around, all ten trees are still standing, and the woodchopper is worn-out and on his last legs.

Frustrated about all the effort he has made with little to no impact.

I’ve never seen a woodchopper working like this. We have a lovely forest behind our house, and every spring, a person inspects all the healthy trees, takes care of all the fallen and dead trees, and maintains the forest’s condition.

When I see him, I notice that he’s going at it one tree at a time.

Please don’t be mad at me that I am writing this.

With all respect for the woodchopper profession and the work these people are doing, I do not consider professional woodchoppers the people with the highest IQ.

I’m sure there are some incredibly smart woodchoppers, and I also know a CEO who is a woodchopper in his free time, turning the wood into dining tables, but overall I believe my statement is true.

Woodchoppers know what they’re doing.

Therefore, non of them would start chopping trees and cutting them simultaneously.

If you asked any woodchopper to consider doing his (it’s primarily a male population) work by chopping trees simultaneously, he would look at you with a look like you just fell out of one of his trees.

I think you know where I’m going.

When it comes to our work, we often engage in multiple activities simultaneously.

We keep telling ourselves that this is perfectly possible, without a loss in productivity and with the same level of quality as a result.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Stuff gets done one task at a time.

Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)