Over on The Focus Course blog, my friend and one of our Focus Course alumni, Mo Bunnell, wrote this article on the conundrum we face when we have more ideas than time.
As I look back, distinguishing between my successes and failures is really simple: nearly all of my successes in life have been when I’ve focused on very few things, obsessed over them, and pushed them until they are ready to ship, good enough for my standards. Nearly all of my failures? Starting too many things, saying Yes to too much, or beginning more things than I can finish to my standards. Trying to do too much leads to fragmentation, dysfunction. And despite what you read, there’s no fun in dysfunction.
More and more, my success seems correlated to what I say Yes to and what I say No to.
Mo’s article originally appeared in one of his Founder’s Friday newsletters. And as soon as I read it I felt super encouraged, because it came at just the right time.
Just a few months ago Isaac (my production manager) and I were getting ready to start on a big new project. But things felt rushed… as if we were behind before we even began.
Isaac suggested we move our project deadline back by 30 days to give ourselves additional margin. But I wasn’t sure. And for several days I was stressing out over this conundrum of how much we needed to do but how I didn’t want to miss our deadline.
Reading Mo’s article reminded me of my own advice. More often than not, it’s better to sweat the details and ship something that is up to standards than it is to rush something out the door.
And so we did choose to move our project deadline back by 30 days, and it was clearly the right decision.
When Mo talks about the power of focus, he’s talking about the results you’re capable of when you give yourself the time and the margin you need in order to obsess over a project and really make it something special.