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TODAY’S STORY
22 Nov
,
2022

What it means to FOCUS.

Stoa Daily Challenge #20

Fampay was founded in 2019 with the mission to create a generation of financially aware and literate Indians.

To achieve this, they offer personalized UPI ids and banking cards to young adults under the age of 18, with all necessary parental and legal checks built in.

In this challenge, you will help Arpit, a Product Manager, build job stories for their banking card and mobile app.

Play the challenge here.

(Play it on your phone for a better experience!)

Now, to today's issue.

____

Look at the following set of statements:

1. I will spend two hours every day for the next six months studying products and improving my product thinking abilities so that I can transition to a Product Manager role.

2. I will write one essay every day for the next 21 days to improve my writing skill.

3. I will focus on serving existing customers and making their experience better so that I can improve retention and build customer loyalty.

And now, compare it with this set of statements:

1. I will spend two hours every day for the next six months studying products and improving my product thinking abilities. I realize that to create this 2-hour space every day, I will need to cut down on watching TV series and chilling with friends. I will also probably have to be more productive at my day job so that it doesn't eat up into my study time, which might mean fewer tea breaks, a shorter lunch break, and less hanging out with colleagues around the water cooler.

2. I will write 1000 words every day for the next 21 days to improve my writing skill. I realize that on many days I might not feel inspired or have the energy to write. For that, I'm willing to let go of my worries about the result and just get the writing done. To make sure I do not end the day without writing the 1000 words, I will do it first thing in the morning and I'm willing to sacrifice some extra time doomscrolling Twitter after waking up in order to make this happen.

3. I will focus on serving existing customers and making their experience better, even if it comes at the cost of building new features that would attract a new set of customers. I'm willing to let go of some extra revenue in the short term in order to build a set of loyal customers who absolutely love my product in the long term.

Did you notice the difference between the two sets?

The next time you tell yourself, "I need to focus on X"

also mention the trade-offs you will be okay with making in order to focus on X.

What is the price you're willing to pay for X?

Would you sacrifice Y for X?

How much are you willing to let go of to make X happen?

Without stating what price you are willing to pay in order to make something happen, you're talking yourself into a goal you will drop at the first sign of trouble.

When we talk about focus, we often imagine it as grasping the thing we wish to focus on in our mind's eye. Instead, think about focus as getting rid of all the things you do not wish to focus on. And then ask yourself if you're truly willing to let go of those things.

Focus is acknowledging trade-offs and being fine with making them. Not acknowledging trade-offs results in coming across them, realizing that you aren't willing to make those trade-offs, and thus losing focus.

YESes come at the expense of NOs. Pay the price.

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