Focus as a Competitive Advantage

Note to my future self…

It’s 2019. It’s fashionable to complain about how noisy the world is and how phones, social media and Netflix are a huge time sink. Everyone is distracted and everyone has to resist these different temptations that takeaway from leaving in the moment. Because I try to be fashionable I agree with this ¯\(ツ)

Now you know me. I will try to look at challenges like this and see if there is an underlying opportunity and today is no different. If you flip this situation you will quickly realize that if everyone is getting so distracted with these devices and services then being immune to them can make you substantially more competitive than anyone else.

Now this might seem obvious but it isn’t necessarily straightforward. Our parent’s generation didn’t face (in my opinion) this intense competition for their eyeballs so the ability to concentrate and not get distracted had a much lower premium. Focus has always been and will always continue to be valuable. However, we know from economics that, ceteris paribus, scarcity (of focus in this case) drives up price. Therefore, a scarcity of focus makes the ability to focus a lot more valuable.

Simple concepts. Hard to implement and live by.

In my case, I am currently experimenting with blocking time off my calendar to do the most important work at the beginning of my day. I am also proactively trying to reduce the amount of projects/tasks that I am working on. Will report back on how that goes.

Now back to work…