One Thing at a Time
Lately I’m being reminded of one of the greatest and handiest things I learned working in a startup environment, specifically from my ex-boss and friend Quentin Bouche: FOCUS.
I met with one of my partners tonight, and he kind of sensed I’m trying to be Superman carrying the whole world on me, while not even Superman can do that. The whole world for me means a full-time job that I’m totally devoted to, a startup I’m building my own, part-time engagements, small-time projects, and some other things with the same keyword: TIME.
FOCUS and TIME are two things you cannot lose grip of. In my case they go hand-in-hand, and while I have been able to implement them effectively, I’m recently getting overwhelmed with the growth of the company I’m with and with the enticing opportunities that naturally come my way. It’s panicking. You can literally lose your mind and your sanity. You can even fall into the trap of the blame game and make endless excuses that can only fool yourself.
However, I’ve read from Forbes that it’s normal. “No organization can manage more than 3 to 5 goals and priorities without becoming unfocused and ineffective.” It’s like striking 5 dart pins all at the same time. You actually don’t know which one can even hit the board.
The key, they say, is to keep all parts balanced and aligned -people and processes- and to keep the scope of each item realistic.
The Lean Startup Methodology teaches us (not just in business but in all aspects of life) to identify your penultimate goal and FOCUS on it consistently throughout the value chain, down to the tiniest task within specific minutes.
“At the age of __ I want to be like this and this and this. So by the end of this year I must have achieved this and this and this. So by the end of this quarter I must be sure to have ticked this and this and this off my objectives. So by the end of this month I should have completed this and this and this in my list. So this week I will do this and this and this. So today my focus is this and this and this. So at this hour I have to do this and this. So at this very minute, I must be doing exactly this.”
Breaking it down to the exact minute is the most difficult part of this process. We’re sure to do great things, but it’s super challenging to accomplish the little things. The little things that make up the grand orchestra.
And today I effin swear to be back on track, practicing this structure in everything that I do, minimizing distractions and just getting on with it.
So you see, it’s just about having focus on one super specific thing at a time. Literally at a time. Chinese horoscope also told me this; how awesome can that be and how forgetful can I be! Ugh.
Wanted: Sexytary. 😉