FOCUS
  • Concentrating efforts along the right priorities in an effective manner
  • Honing attention, time and energy into fulfilling specific responsibilities
  • Guarding against distractions and saying “no” to that which degrades high-quality performance
COMMENTARY
When people think of Focus, they tend to look at it as “don’t be distracted” – by your other tasks, people, or your crippling phone addiction. But focus also means guarding yourself from taking a project further than it needs to go and saying no to other paths that may complicate or endanger your primary concern. In software development, we call this Feature Creep.

Suppose you have a well-defined project, but then Tom from accounting needs special access to a certain part. This seems reasonable, and it is a necessary function for Tom, so it is decided to delay the project so that his special access can be added. And then Barbara from HR also wants to manage employee records. Then Mark needs to be able to convert an Excel spreadsheet into a text file, and Gene needs to e-mail everyone in Mississippi between the ages of 34-47. Before you know it, your simple project has turned into a new smartphone operating system.

To mitigate this, we use focus. Whenever a tangential request is made, you always have to be ready to ask “is this really necessary?” If it isn’t, then you should stay focused on the original plan and say no to distractions, thus ensuring the project will be completed on time.

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Key Words and Phrases
To concentrate attention; Emphasis; Fasten; Center; Train; To have a clear perception; To bring to focus.

Opposite Terms
Blurry; Out of focus; Without direction.

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