We all need focus in life to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. It is not a surprise that most successful people have a focused approach towards going about their daily business. The whole concept of TED talks is based on this, learn from the best in how to be focused and achieve your goals.
That being said, sometimes focusing too much on the outcome deviates one from his/her path and leaves them stranded somewhere else. Indeed, every path taken is a means to an end, but one cannot think too much about the end without thinking about the means. Sometimes, it is not about the destination but about the journey.
So how exactly is too much focus on the outcome detrimental to an individual’s productivity? Take a music artist for example. When unsigned, they write songs whenever inspiration strikes, making for a profound and pragmatic musical experience. After they sign with a record company, they have to adhere to a contract to churn out x number of albums every year. As such, they cannot really wait for the inspiration to strike anymore. They have to churn out songs no matter what. The end result is usually a dull musical which panders to the lowest common denominator without much depth but just a catchy tune to keep the radio stations interested.
In the above example, after the artist signs the contract, they are obligated to be focused on the outcome, i.e. getting as many albums out as stipulated. This hampers their creativity, or productivity, if you will. Sure, even then they would be able to compose a few gems every now and then, but overall, quantity begins to supercede quality.
Another example closer to home would be the managerial stress we all are subjected to at the office. Every little job is target oriented. The timeline given for delivery is criminally short while a lot of work is expected from the employees. Hence, in order to fulfill the demands, some employees start cutting corners. This way, too much focus on the outcome reduces the quality of the overall product and unnecessarily stresses out the workers.
Hence, in conclusion, while it is very much recommended to have focus in life, it is also advisable to enjoy the process, the journey. Every little thing in life matters, so worry not too much about the outcome, just have a good time doing your work.
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