Self-confidence is the foundation of focus — to get more done, take time for yourself.
The best founders I work with spend their time on a power law curve — almost all their attention is placed on the very few things that…
The best founders I work with spend their time on a power law curve — almost all their attention is placed on the very few things that matter. If you imagine their day, the P-zero and P-1 projects get almost all the time and attention.
When you can prioritize this way, you execute at an incredible pace. You are focused. You are clear about priorities. You accomplish an amazing amount because you are confident enough to to say “no” to most things.
When you lead a company, maintaining confidence is very hard. The temptation to second guess yourself, to say “yes” and expand the hours in the day to accommodate a growing list of priorities, is super strong. As this starts to happen, your time and attention start to look like a more uniform distribution — until you flatline.
As self-confidence erodes, you can’t decide what matters most and all things feel equally important and seem to require equal effort and attention. You feel overwhelmed by the volume of work that “needs” to be done and disappointed in the quality of the work you do. You know you are taking on too much, but there is no one else to do it and you are so busy doing all the things, you can’t take the time to prioritize…Also, when you lack confidence, the prioritization decisions take longer and cause way more cognitive pain than just doing the work. For most of us the most accessible solution is to put the head down and work more.
If you are working at an unsustainable level, make a list of your top ten priorities. Then, audit your calendar for the past week and for next week with time assigned to each project or task. The flatter the curve, the more you need to replace the top priority with a new one —creating time and space to re-build your self-confidence and to walk the path to your best.