“A strategic position is not sustainable unless there are trade-offs with other positions. Trade-offs occur when activities are incompatible. Simply put, a trade-off means that more of one thing necessitates less of another.” — Michael E. Porter, What is Strategy?
The point of focus is not simply to do less for its own sake.
It’s so you can do more of one thing in particular. The thing you’re best at.
Trying to be everything to everybody is the fast track to irrelevancy.
But being the best thing—the only credible thing—for one particular type of customer?
That’s the slow, steady path to relevance and profit.
But doing what you’re best at necessitates doing less of what you’re not.
So, what are you going to do less of?
And what will that allow you to do more of?
Step 1: Reflect
Action: What comes to mind when you think “Sure, if I had more time, of course I'd do more of that! That would mean I could focus on what I love most and my favourite customers value most. ” What's that? Write that down.
Time: 5 minutes
Step 2: Flagging Roadblocks
Action: What's standing in your way from doing more of that? What's eating up your time instead? Write that down.
Time: 3 minutes
Step 3: Smashing Time
Action: Ok, around, over, under, or through, it's time to address that roadblock. What can you do to give it up, hand it off, or re-imagine it entirely? It's the trade-off. Now go make it!