Pragmatic articles on software development and management
Published on by pariskasid

A few thoughts on focus

For the last few years I take considerable vacation every August — 2 weeks minimum. It helps me relax, rejuvenate and think.

During this year’s vacation, I spent a weekend at a friends house, where I was discussing why I enjoy spearfishing. An important reason is that I get to focus on one single thing for at least three hours, with no option to be distracted at all. This helped me answer a question that was bugging me for quite a while; “What trait of me has been a roadblock in the past and could also prevent a project’s success in the future?”. The answer was instinctive; my lack of focus.

I can manage quite a lot of things simultaneously — that’s what we call in Greece “I can carry lots of watermelons under a single armpit”. This has been super helpful so far, as many different kinds of tasks get carried out promptly. Being able to work with multiple products and clients, across multiple disciplines, distributes risk, which is also important when running a business. Underneath this skill though lurks a personal vulnerability; my difficulty to focus on one thing for a substantial amount of time.

Focus is crucial to success. I can see it. Focusing relentlessly on a single front for a substantial amount of time, ensures consistency. Consistency over time eventually yields excellence. Focusing is the skill I plan to focus on (!!) developing until my next big summer vacation. There will be tradeoffs, that will be hard to make, but will be made. Some habits will have to be relinquished after many years and more ideas will get a “no”.

I would not trade my ability to spread on multiple fronts at the same time. I still want and plan to keep this skill in my arsenal. Focus should sit on top and bring excellence everywhere.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check out the work we do at LOGIC. Our tendency to work on multiple fronts simultaneously, helped us launch a couple of great products within a few months; Remote Work Café and Vaulty, while we providing multidisciplinary professional services.