One of my all-time pet subjects is "focus." My preference for simplicity is one reason why I like focus, but there is a multitude of other reasons to focus, in all kinds of different areas.

In its most elementary form, focus while executing tasks.
If you've read any recent book on the brain [1] or productivity, or even if you’ve recently picked up your favourite women's magazine, you know multitasking does not exist—not for men, but also not for women. Studies show that executing tasks in parallel is up to 40% less productive than executing them in serial. I'm sure you're special, but your brain can't multitask! Put that Netflix on pause while you are reading this!

Being creative requires a mixture of fast and slow thinking [2]. Haven't you come up with the greatest plans during your morning shower? Or went to bed without any idea how to solve an issue, but then you solved it with ease in the morning? For creativity, your brain sometimes needs some time to sort your thoughts and align them into a solution. If you fill all your brain capacity with all sorts of different goals, such as organising your wedding, buying a new car, redesigning your product and hiring a new salesperson, it will not be able to digest long enough on a single thing to come up with a superb solution.

Until further notice, a day exists of only 24 hours (23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds to be precise). You can't argue against that limit, so you can't do everything. The time and resource limit exists at a personal level, but also at a company level. Your company's strategy should define which battles you pick to fight. Are you trying to make the best product in the market? Don't focus on being the cheapest in the market. If you're fighting a price battle, maybe customer care should get a little less attention. Pick one primary goal and focus on that one. If you do all other stuff on-par, that's just fine [3]. Of course, this is only a very brief approach to company strategy. There is much more to tell about strategy. I promise I will elaborate on this in a future post.

The fastest path to growth might be to buy another company. That sounds straightforward. However, the art of acquisition is a tricky one. It doesn't come with a guarantee for success, and only 25% result in real success [4]. The chances for success are, however, much higher when you stay close to your core. Expanding with your focus gives you the best shot at success.