Focus: Why You Need to Avoid Side Projects

Focus: Why You Need to Avoid Side Projects

The Problem of Multiple Projects at Once

Some of you may know the problem: You have million of ideas at once in your head and to be honest you would like to work on all of them. We always have ideas but what is an idea if you don’t work on it to become reality? But please don’t start working on all of your ideas at once this will only lead to bad results. Working on too many different projects will lead to a lack of focus. A lack of focus will lead to a lack of results. Without any results you will show no real progress – at least not as much progress as would otherwise be possible.

Been There Done That

The lack of focus is a problem I know too good. Abdul my startup co-founder and I were meeting during a time period of around a year weekly to discuss our startup ideas, to discuss great technological trends in AR and VR. We had literally thousands of ideas and we often wanted to test all of them. And this was also a problem because all the time we wanted to test hundreds of ideas nothing happened: We never had a real focus. Nothing changed until we finally set ourselves a focus. We started working on three ideas which were highly correlated to each other and which were all three targeting the same industry. Slowly we became the founders of a real lean startup and we showed a first real progress.

So please don’t try to work on all of your ideas even if you can come up with 80 of the next top 100 companies on TechCrunch.

Working on more than one project at a time might work for some people like Jack Dorsey who is the CEO of Square and Twitter. Or it might work for Elon Musk who holds multiple chief executive roles at more than one company: Tesla and SpaceX.

Please don’t let them be your role model especially if you are at the very beginning of projects whether it is a startup or a research project. The more projects you try to manage the harder it will be to focus on what really matters.

You are focusing on one project when suddenly you need to think about solutions for your second project and then you need to make some calls for project number three. This is a total mess.

You will turn away from projects which are hard at the moment

Let’s come to the real issue here: If you are working on multiple projects and you have hard times at one of them the temptation is big that you turn away from the hard project.
If you are working on more than one project you still have a second or third project you can fall back to. So to say you build yourself a legitimate excuse to quit a project when it gets hard. You can say to yourself: “Well if this stuff is not working at the moment I’ll continue to work on Project B”. But by avoiding the hard times you are also avoiding the real progress in any of your projects.

I have had the problem myself and I just decided to quit all my side projects to focus on my project number one. And I am not the only one who thinks like that:

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