13 Nov Spread too thin.
It seems that all the time we are reminded we need to diversify. In our business, our investments, even our love life (wtf). While that can protect us from potential losses or disappointments, trying to create plan B, C, D, comes with it’s own downsides, which I think are significant. Yet no one seems to be talking about that.
Let’s look at my own business ventures as an example. A few years ago I was involved in 3 businesses at the same time. This was mainly with the idea to be diversified and create multiple streams of income. Looking back I realize that was rather unrealistic and borderline delusional. What I found was that none of the businesses was getting the attention it needed to grow and produce that income. I was spread too thin, my 24 hours were not enough to focus on the problems, which were created in all 3. Not only did this stress me out, causing me to become unproductive, but it also compounded with my lack of focus.
What I did was reduce my involvement and focus on only 2 and that is still too many (as they are young businesses that require more attention)! The plan is to narrow that down to 1 in 2020. This will not only improve my focus and allow me allocate the attention the business needs, but it will also free up time to spend on myself as well.
Let’s get back to the love life topic. It seems to me a lot of people are diversified too much even there. While that’s funny in a way, I don’t understand why it’s “cool” to be involved with multiple people at once. Not only does it eat into a person’s free time, but it also leaves us feeling profoundly lonely anyway. At the end of the day, none of the people that you go out with really truly know you. Reaching a depth of understanding takes time, and time is what you don’t have when you are spread too thin.
If flings are your thing, that’s alright, I’m not judging. However, for myself, I find them to be profoundly unsatisfying… a temporary solution to a deeper problem.
Free time diversity.
Even in our attention we are diversified too much. There’s always a notification or a phone call stealing away our time. If you are like me you also want to be reading books, watching movies, going to the gym, meditating, working on a side-hustle, practicing a hobby, etc. These are all diverse activities vying for my free time and I want to indulge all of them. Realistically that is impossible (talking to myself here). Yet I like to enjoy diversity, and so the question is to find the right balance. So now I am in the process of narrowing things down, focusing on the essential.
Most of us are in the process of trying different things out, seeing if they are appropriate for us. However, sooner or later we might end up with too much things fighting for our limited time and attention. So in this era of distractions and diversification I would say that the antidote to it all is to do the opposite. Focus on just a few things (that matter), on one person, one business, one investment strategy, because anything else is just eating up your time and not amounting to much. Remember, that 20% of your efforts produce 80% of the results. Find the 20% and go all out on them (talking to myself again).