Concentration, dedication and the myth of multitasking
So, multi-tasking is a myth. Scientists at the University of Utah found that those who pride themselves on the ability to do more than one thing at once were deluding themselves, and are in fact easily distracted, with minds like dandelion seeds. This came as no surprise to us, or, I’ll wager, to you. Would you trust someone who starts writing a letter halfway through cooking a coq au vin? Who tries to do the ironing and change a nappy at the same time? Who uses a mobile phone while driving?
There’s nothing wrong with impulsiveness, of course. It’d be a dull world if we couldn’t decide to drive a vintage gullwing Mercedes to Antibes on the spur of the moment, but you wouldn’t want a driver who got distracted at Dover. Inspiration comes in a flash, but perfection takes time. Christopher Ward’s craftsmen and designers pride themselves on attention to detail, on making sure that form perfectly matches function in each timepiece. It’s a matter of dedication, of following a project through from start to finish.
Some of our most significant releases have been inspired by the work of the English horological genius John Harrison. A working class joiner from Lincolnshire with little formal training, Harrison not only taught himself the art of clockmaking but created a timekeeper which would solve the Longitude Problem, the navigational challenge of his day.
To this task Harrison dedicated twenty-nine years of his life.
After many revisions to his original design and following years of exacting sea trials, Harrison developed his Marine Timekeeper number 4 (H4). A reliable timekeeper at sea would enable mariners to calculate accurately their position so Harrison’s years of painstaking development had an inestimable effect on what was then the world’s foremost maritime nation.
|Harrison’s Marine Timekeeper
number 4 (H4)
Dedication, single mindedness, call it what you will, there definitely seems to be a new found appreciation for concentrating on the task at hand and avoiding the many distractions that are present in the modern world. In the mind of the multi-tasker, checking emails, and updating Linkedin pages while trying to write a report, would signify efficiency. I beg to differ.
And what of reports that fewer people are buying wristwatches? According to a Mintel survey, one in seven now feels ‘no need’ to wear one. Look around you, and ask if you want to be one of those people who are doubtless distracted by the digital clocks on their phones or computers, who chase after each new hi-tech device? Or would you rather be one who knows the value of passion, patience and focus, who knows that some things are timeless? I’ll bet you don’t need to concentrate too hard on that question to come up with an answer.