Of Arrowroots, Decision-Making and Saving Resources

The quarter cup of water boiled in the pot steaming hard by the second. A pinch of salt joined the dance in anticipation of the incoming ice-cold pieces of arrowroots. Three pieces tested the waters. Then another three. But before the next batch could join the jiggle a piece broke and dropped on the surface of the glistening stove.

“Damn it!” A curse escaped my breath. “Why does this always happen?”

I glanced at it with my hand mid-air wondering if to drop the pieces into the pot then rescue the lawbreaker, or ignore it and continue with the loading process.

One second. Three seconds. Five. The steam beneath my hand awakened me from the distraction demanding quick decision-making.

“Focus girl! Drop the incomers into the pot and follow up with the batch waiting in the storage bag!” My brain warned.

“No! Pick me first!” The lawbreaker grumbled from the stove’s surface. “I’m part of the team and earlier in the queue remember?”

But then an even louder thought demanded I tilt the bag into the pot shoving the remaining pieces of arrowroots into the pot in with minimum resistance. The steam was leaving the pot fast after all.

The process of reheating pieces of arrowroots from a straight-out-of-the-fridge condition to an edible state should take 5 minutes tops. Two minutes go to heating the salted water to boiling point under high fire. Followed by three to steam the arrowroots with the pot covered on low heat. So quickness of hand comes in handy or you risk burning the arrowroots!

If you’ve not been down this urgent decision-making road before, this experience should paint a perfect picture.


But I bet you have cruised through a project and then a diversion caught and held your eye hostage for a time in indecision. You found yourself stuck between pausing to prioritize the diversion and following the project to the end and then returning to address the diversion.

This is even more tempting when the diversion can wait till the end of the project or can be ignored altogether. Talk of worthless situations demanding attention!

I’m curious though, what did you do the last time when a not-so-obvious distraction stood between you and a successful end?

Try to remember without being too hard on yourself regardless of what you did. You see, that law-breaking piece of arrowroot wasn’t worth slowing down the reheating process for with so many resources at risk. I’m looking at the fire, the fast escaping steam and time. And how can I forget the risk of burning the already reheating pieces, ruining the entire breakfast?

But how often have you and I watched our resources go down the drain as we turn to the diversion?

Regardless of the situation, we should weigh the amount of attention the diversion is worth and compare that with the resources going to waste if we stagger with decision-making. Is the diversion really worth the pause?

In this scenario, I had to make an ignore-the-diversion decision and carry on with the reheating process.

Here is why; it is important to keep to the minimum the time spent pouring arrowroots into the steaming water and then cover the pot. This helps to retain as much steam in the pot since the water used is very little.

So, this is how I see it.

Quick decision-making makes the difference between acing the required results as you stay in the course of the project and missing the mark because you got distracted and followed a diversion. That 5-second decision-making period determines your results. But whatever the scenario, save your arrowroots!

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