How to focus sharply on your goals

You can't do everything. Choose one thing.
Decide what the best use of your time is.

“The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through.”
Harry A. Overstreet

As a young man I used to love coming up with new business ideas. I had thousands of ideas but I would later learn that the creative skills required to come up with new ideas were entirely different from the skill set I would need to follow through.

I never focused on a single idea. My attention and my resources were divided. It may come as no surprise that, while I enjoyed moderate successes, none of these ideas were given the attention needed to turn them into thriving ventures.

Later at university I learned something about economics. One idea stood out to me. It was the idea of opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is the expense of using resources for one activity in preference to another, however, it takes into account the lost opportunity -or what you could have done with the resources instead.

I now argue that time is our most precious resource. So, with that in mind we should always ask ourselves if what we are doing is the best use of our time.

In 1997, Steve Jobs put it like this at the Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference.

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things” (

In other words, you can be anything you want but you can’t be everything. You can do everything you want but you can’t do everything.

Any time I have achieved my goals it is due in large part to clarity and focus. I have decided what is most important to me and of course, which activities will take priority in my life.

Keep this in mind as you go about your day. You can’t do everything but you can do something. Decide for yourself; what is the best way you can possibly use your time today?

Share your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *