How Experts Figure What to Focus On

How Experts Figure What to Focus On
How Experts Figure What to Focus On

How Experts Figure What to Focus On


Table Of Content(toc)

1. Intro


If you are an expert in something, focus on that thing. It might be a subject or a skill area, but it is always a part of your expertise.

In addition, it’s important to pick your focus carefully. If you are a manager tasked with leading teams of employees, you should make sure that you don’t over work yourself by focusing on the wrong thing.

If you are an expert in software engineering, then clearly a job in product management is not going to help you with your software engineering expertise (which means it’s probably not going to get in the way).

However, if you have no interest in building software but rather working as an expert at something else that does not involve building anything—such as marketing or PR, for example—then choosing what to focus on will become very important.


2. Why don’t we all just focus?


There are actually two kinds of experts: people who do things and people who say things.

People who do things are generally looking to improve their lives and health by following a clear set of rules for achieving the desired results. We tend to think that there are only “right” answers and “wrong” answers, but in reality there are different ways to achieve the same goal — it’s just that some methods are better than others.

People who say things say things as a way of doing things, as part of their job. There is an intuitive appeal to this approach, especially when it comes to your business or career; but for most businesses, it is not a good way to operate.

It is probably best if you just focus on what you do best (and stop thinking about how it should be done). It sounds simple, but there’s no easy shortcut around the fact that focusing on what you do well can feel very unnatural — especially when you don’t know where exactly you want to go next.

What makes your business unique? What do you have that others don’t? What makes you different than everyone else? What will your customers think when they hear about this company or product? You can use this information when determining where your real focus lies:

• What skills and expertise will help me get the most out of my team and myself When making decisions, try to make them informed by the skills and expertise available within your team. If you have a lot of different types of knowledge already in your toolbox (or even just one) then don’t mix those up — instead, focus on those areas that have high return on effort (ROE).

• When choosing new hires, pick people with qualities related to their strengths Instead of interviewing for interviewees first and then hiring them second, hire them first because they will be able to perform better at their jobs when they know what they need from each other before getting into details about how successful they should be together with what kind of relationships/co-workers they should form with each other. This might sound like an obvious point (and it is), but many startups fail because they hire people without understanding how much better the fit would work out once they had worked together for a while.

• In addition… You need some balance You cannot over-estimate any skill or expertise — no matter how valuable or important — which is why


3. We are distracted by so many things, but we can choose to ignore them.


The first step in starting a project is to determine the scope of your work and what you need to accomplish.

The second step is to clearly understand that you have a finite amount of time, and if you are going to spend all day working on this project, it needs to be done efficiently.

The third step is to ask yourself: “Who am I trying to reach?” And while we all have different ideas about what target audiences we want to communicate with, it’s usually good practice to find out what they are by asking them how they feel about your product.

They will often tell us something like, “I want this app that would compete with Facebook,” or “I don’t care how many people use it; I just want it integrated into my workflow.” We might be able to figure out what they want easily enough by asking them how they got started with their current product — if they have used Slack before, for example, then there may be some overlap in their needs and interests as well as some room for improvement.

But if you can’t find any kind of commonality between them (or if this isn’t something that even resonates with them), then there is no way that you can come up with a common feature set that will satisfy both of them.


4. Distractions are everywhere and they seem to be unavoidable now.


There is a great quote by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente (from their book "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression") which I’ve repeated in my talks for years now: “We need to stop trying to eliminate distractions, but instead focus on eliminating everything else from a person's mind.”

I don’t mean that people should not focus on anything, but rather, we should become skilled at the art of eliminating distractions. Distractions are everywhere and they seem to be unavoidable now. They can come from external sources such as the Internet (search results), social media (feedback about what you post), or your own internal tools such as a text editor or an app. They can also come from within as an internal bias or habit which you simply cannot break.

The key question is not whether distraction is good or bad, but whether you can learn to eliminate it completely without compromising any of your other core competencies (which are still very valuable). The answer is, I believe, yes.


5. How do we eliminate distractions?


There are many aspects to the “how to focus like a samurai” speech. One of them is that it gives you an excuse for not focusing on things which aren’t important. You may feel guilty about allocating time away from your favorite activity, but by making it a habit of just turning off distractions, you effectively claim that your time is your own, and so there is no reason to do anything else.

The other aspect of the speech — one which applies to both genders and all ages — is that this habit becomes part of your identity as a person. In fact, if done right, it becomes a way of thinking about yourself: “I’m going to step away from my phone during sales calls so I can pay better attention.”


6. Conclusion


Going back to the focus discussion, here is another way to think about it:

What’s the most important thing you could do right now?

In other words: “What can I do that will improve my life?”

Your answer will change over time. For example, if you’re in a company where there aren’t many things you can do to help your team on a daily basis, you might start by focusing on improving your own productivity.

Eventually, however, when things become more intense and challenging for you as an individual, your answer might be different. Maybe it will be an investment in yourself (think small business). Or maybe it will be a big win for your team (think hiring an awesome designer). Or maybe it will be something related to the product or business (think getting rid of that pesky e-mail backlog). Whatever your answer is, I hope this post helps spur some approaches for handling those situations when it comes time to make those adjustments.



buttons=(Accept !) days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !
To Top