Spend more time choosing the problem

Photo of the author: Camilo Nova

Camilo Nova


1 min read.

It's pretty common to push for work to be done. We are overwhelmed by the many things we must do: meetings, emails, documents, and follow-ups. Most of the time is gone executing, doing what seems like an endless stream of tasks. You get tired after a while, it's like too much, so you start doing things in parallel, multitasking, and looking at videos on time management while at the same time working on something else.

This is a big problem; Especially, for your mental health when you think about it.

I found myself attending a time management talk, while at the same time worrying about all the other things I was not doing by attending this session. I was trying to take notes, and pay attention, but my mind was taking me to the other pressing issues I had. It was hard for me to find the focus I needed. That felt like procrastination, doing something entirely different from what I should be doing.

At the end of the talk, I was feeling like an impostor. Unable to control myself to get the value of the present moment, my body was in one place, but my mind was elsewhere.

I was spending time executing a set of tasks, but I wasn't aware of why I was doing them. I was attending this talk thinking I had a time management problem, but the truth is, the real problem was not having a clear idea of the problem. I was rushing into the solution (attending a talk), rather than attending the root cause (why am I doing this).

Spend more time choosing the problem. When you do it right, it will drive you to execute whatever you need to do. No procrastination, no excuses, no multitasking. Resist the urge to rush to execution without understanding deeply the problem. You have to get the `why` right. Spend time choosing the problem.

That's why we deliver real value when building software for our clients. Sometimes we fall into the trap of rushing to execution, but this could be a great reminder to do the opposite.

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