Focus is a Jerk (Or: Why FOMO Will Keep You From Your Goals)
At the start of 2020, my New Year’s focus was on the growth of The Sweet Setup and our business here.
(Little did I know there would be a global pandemic that would bring on an economic crisis. But that’s a story for another time.)
As the team and I prepare for the awesome things we want to do in 2021, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what we will focus on next year.
This year we went very wide — creating and shipping 5 new courses on The Sweet Setup. And making some serious progress than ever to help you, dear reader, to improve how and what you focus on.
As I’ve been thinking about what we have done so far in 2020, and what we will be doing in 2021… I have come up against that most frustrating of truths:
FOCUS IS A JERK
When you are focused on something, it means you are directing your attention on it.
And thus, by definition, in order focus on one thing you must ignore many other things.
And I get serious FOMO when I think about ignoring other ideas, opportunities, and goals.
And but so, this is the way.
As you begin looking to the next year, have you considered what you are NOT going to do?
For 2021, what will you stop?
What will you avoid?
What will you say no to? (even though it hurts)
In his his book, Essentialism, Greg McKeown writes:
Many capable people are kept from getting to the next level of contribution because they can’t let go of the belief that everything is important.
Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that person who is stuck, holding on, clinging to the belief that EVERYTHING is important and you must do ALL OF IT.
You only have so much energy and attention available to move you toward your goals.
If you’re familiar with Parkinson’s Law, it states that your consumption of a resource expands to meet the supply of that resource. 1
So, in my desire to be more focused with the work we are doing, I am choosing to LIMIT the things we write about on our websites to only those which help folks to be more creative and productive.
By stopping all other non-essential work activities, we will be able to focus on what is most important for our readers and customers (that’s you, btw)!
And so, dear reader, as you look to 2021 and the things you WANT to do… you must also remember that you cannot do it all.
What will you resolve to stop or say no to so that you can say “yes” to what is even more important?
Think about how you would finish this sentence:
Next year, I will not…
* * *
I have tested Parkinson’s law myself using a bag of potato chips and a new season on Netflix. Telling myself I can eat just a few chips and watch just one show, I will instead consume the entire bag and watch the entire season all in one night… Blast! Parkinson wins again. ↩