Focusing on one project

sketchperez | 06.15.2014

I was having a conversation with a friend about consistency and focus. As he was telling me about all the projects he had going on, I stopped him and asked, “Don’t you think focusing on one of those endeavors alone will produce higher quality of work and ultimately better results?” He answered by re-directing the very question to me. I hadn’t realized until that moment, I was working on 6 different projects. Sometimes we let our ambition hinder us from focusing and really creating something of quality. There are only so many hours in a day, we can’t possibly do it all. Therefore we dedicate a few hours to each project, never allowing ourselves to really dive into any one project.

Full focus

Things get done when we focus. When we have 6 projects going on at one time, while we try to focus on one project, something is always happening in another. We find ourselves constantly playing catch up, jumping around from project to project. Even if we are able to stay afloat, we’re ‘just’ staying afloat. We are completely missing parts of projects that can only be improved upon when fully submerged in it. The amount of time dedicated on a single project only allows for just barely grazing the surface. This is not a fostering environment for new idea sparks.

Unexpected sparks

Ideas don’t always happen when we want them to. Let’s say we are working on project A, and all of a sudden get a spark for project B. We have to make a tough decision and the outcome is that one project will get attention and the other won’t. If we continue to do ‘A’, we loose the spark for ‘B’. If we jump on that spark for ‘B’, then ‘A’ doesn’t get done. That isn’t even taking into account that projects ‘C’,’D’,’E’, & ‘F’ also have things that need attention. Our plate needs to be fully wiped down, so that when an idea is served we are able to quickly act on it.

Producing quality

At this point we still might be fighting the concept and telling ourselves “I’m good enough to do it all.” Sure. However, instead of spending that extra time to making the details perfect, we release sub-par work and miss out on bringing something detailed & unique to the project. It’s clear to see the difference in quality when we look at the work of a photographer who ONLY does photography, and a web designer that also does photography. Given a standard 8 hour work day the photographer spends the whole day on just that craft, the web designer will only photograph for half the amount of time and thats if a problem doesn’t arise to cause the design time to overlap the photography time. It’s hard to produce the same level of quality in the craft if we’re only spending half of our time, compared to someone who is focusing their full time on it.

What’s my focus?

So I had 6 projects, I now only have one. Before, I had a handful of freelance projects, a business blog, an art blog, and a personal blog. I decided to consolidate all the blogs, make art only to promote posts, and this will help more people than any one client project. My goals are still the same, but now they are in one focused project. What do you have going on, and how can you consolidate that into one focus? Tweet me your focus, and if you don’t know how to consolidate, let’s talk about it, email me. Talking with my friend really helped me figure out what my focus should be, I would love to help you find that focus as well.

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