This is going to be one of those posts where I recommend doing things that I don’t necessarily do all the time. However, I really want to do these things. It’s just hard.
Focus at work sounds so easy. Just work on one thing at a time. Easy, right? Well…no.
First of all, we all have to deal with distractions. Life is full of distractions. Everything and everyone is vying for our attention. Trillions of dollars are spent marketing everything from video games to pizza to getaway vacations.
Second, for most people there are things that are more important than work (ex. family). Since work is not the single most important thing in your life, it will get pushed to the side from time to time.
Finally, even when we just talk about focus at work (i.e. not including external distractions or more important family matters), most people are hard pressed to truly stick to one thing. Sometimes this is a result of our desire to please others, but the really tricky situation is when there are multiple good options.
Most startups don’t die from starving (i.e. lack of opportunity). They die from drowning (i.e. trying to do too much).
In short, you don’t know focus until you have multiple really good opportunities and you figure out a way to ignore one so you can put 100% of your focus on the other. I struggle with this all the time, but at least I am somewhat self aware about this and try to take a step back to evaluate where I am at on a regular basis. Think about it this way:
What if you had two great options and you could succeed if you placed 100% of your focus in either one, but you will fail if you try to do both at the same time?