Never underestimate the power of attention

Have you ever had to build a skyscraper or send a man to another planet? Ok. Most people will never do those projects in their lives and that’s fine. However, we all deal with some level of complexity on the projects we work on whether it’s designing a new software or setting up a supply chain halfway across the globe. No matter how complex the project you are trying to do is, it can be broken down into a number of simple tasks. Reducing complex processes to their simplest activities is how skyscrapers are built.

“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years.”

Bill Gates.

If you had a project and broke it down into tasks you could complete each day, eventually that project would come to an end no matter how complex it seemed at the beginning. Based on this principle, the limiting factor for the achievement of goals is not often skill level but the ability to set priorities. Knowing what you should work on is not enough, however, you also have to be willing to get the job done.

In a world where people are having less attention span due to consistent fear of missing out, the ability to focus on a single task for an extended period of time is becoming a highly valuable job skill. Being able to focus on any important task for an extended period of time is very difficult. Phones ring, children wake up, you get hungry, you decide you’d rather play candy crush.

What are you focused on?

Many people often have a good idea what they should be working on. What they lack is the discipline to work on that thing without interruption and in the end that limits what they can achieve. Taking a step as simple as putting your phone on silent and out of reach while you work has been shown to improve average productivity. If you can dedicate an hour of focused work each day to a project, you’d be surprised how much you can achieve over time.

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