February 15, 2007

How to focus- an accidental approach…

Posted in Execution at 5:14 pm by scottmaxwell

I have written several times about the need for focus. ( Here, for example.) Since writing on the topic, I continue to notice that most people I meet need this advice.

Today I discovered a new approach to creating focus: Today most of my e-mail inbox disappeared from both my e-mail client and the server. User error? Bug? System out of capacity? I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure it out but then I realized that I didn’t have to keep struggling to catch up on e-mails (a constant and increasing source of frustration)…I didn’t have any e-mails to respond to…at that point I stopped trying to figure out how to fix the problem. Losing the e-mails solved a different, ongoing, and increasing problem that I am having with e-mail…that is, trying to be responsive to everyone that sends me e-mails.

All of a sudden, a tremendous amount of time freed up and I was able to focus a lot more of my attention on the core of what I like to do…work with my portfolio companies (spoke with 4 today), talk with entrepreneurs (spoke with 3 today), worked on longer term projects (2 today), and periodically write in this blog (first post in a long time)…it was a great opportunity to focus!

I have not figured out how to institutionalize this approach while still being responsive, but if you have any ideas please let me know…

***
endnote: I really did lose my e-mail inbox with about 8 weeks of e-mails that I have not caught up on. If you sent me one that I have not responded to, I apologize!

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