When you think of the kinds of things that contribute dramatically to the success of a startup business, your first thoughts will probably be things like “good investment capital,” “an innovative concept,” and so on.
While all of these things are undoubtedly very important — and can make all the difference — there’s a good chance that your ability to focus may be one of the most significant superpowers you could hope to have in your professional life, whether you’re an entrepreneur or not.
Here are just a few reasons why focus can be a superpower in your professional life.
Because it can lead to simplicity and clarity of insight
In the field of market research and customer surveys, monadic concept testing is a term used to describe a surveying process where one concept is tested with the focus group, in isolation.
Often, market research and insights are undermined by too much complexity and chaos. If you’re trying to track and test dozens of different variables, you generate a lot of noise and it becomes very tricky to actually get anything that’s of much use, out of the process.
This is just one example of how being quite narrowly and specifically focused can lead to a greater degree of simplicity and clarity of insight in your professional life, but there are plenty of other areas where the same general pattern will apply, too.
By focusing on a small number of key variables and aspects of your business in significant detail, you may gain more insight than you would if your attention kept jumping back and forth between a hundred things.
Because it can help you to do your best work and to boost creativity and insight
According to Cal Newport, author of the highly popular and influential productivity-focused book “Deep Work,” the ability to focus in-depth on one thing at a time is key to doing work to the highest level of quality.
In this, Newport’s observation is supported by researchers from various fields. Individuals who attempt to multitask are known to generally underperform those who “mono-task,”and research done on the topic of mindfulness suggests that being more present and focused on one thing not only leads to greater performance, but greater overall charisma, too.
Because focus is becoming a rare skill in the modern world
As digital technologies of all sorts proliferate far and wide, there’s ample research to suggest that our collective ability to focus is being undermined greatly.
According to Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows,” a lot of this trend can be linked back to the nature of the Internet itself — but in a more recent book called “Stolen Focus,” the writer Johann Hari make a compelling case that the Internet is one of a number of social factors leading to a decline in the ability to focus.
Whatever the specific causes of the decline in focus, this is a trend acknowledged by various influential researchers.
By honing your own ability to focus in this landscape, you may end up with an increasingly rare and prized skill at your disposal.