What to focus on? (how do I figure that out)


I have this feeling lately like I don’t know what to focus on. It’s not a problem with not being able to focus, but not knowing where to put my limited time and energy. (Well, now that I write this, it seems like a focus/distraction problem. If I can really focus on something for weeks at at time, then why not do these things one at a time, for instance a few weeks for each?)

Some things my days tend to consist of:

  • UX contracting related stuff
    – continued reading on relevant themes, portfolio and online presence related prospecting, improvement as a consultant, etc.

  • Game economics (incentive structures and economics)
    – related to my interest in crypto and network effects

  • Javascript, React.js
    – related to building mvp native apps

  • Google products like Analytics, Tag Manager, Optimize, etc
    – related to present work and subsequently, value based design

  • This bigger interest in tech and how it affects industries & business strategy (things like a16z, clayton christensen, david snowden, simon wardley)

Some possible considerations that seem like they could help, which I’m having trouble answering:

  1. what do i want to be doing?
  2. what is being requested (pull economy)?
  3. where does the field seem to be moving towards?
  4. what will be most important function for a company during a recession?

5. what is going to be outsourced or automated?
6. … etc

This isn’t UX related, but I figure everyone deals with this type of problem in one form or another. Wondering what some outside perspective would look like.


Hey there,
Is your lack of focus due to the fact that you have too much going on (that’s when I tend to lose focus and go off on tangents as I remember things) or because you’re not enjoying your work?


I enjoy the work, i don’t think it’s that.

when i try to tighten up my focus, it works for awhile until some kind of ‘gateway’ problem emerges. a gateway problem is anything that is somehow related but that also has its own ‘field’ of study to get into.

for what it’s worth, in terms of big 5 I’m really high in openness, moderate in conscientious… on mbti i seem to be an intp.

(sorry for the long delay :slight_smile: )


I feel you. I’ve given myself anxiety attacks from the way my head jumps from one topic to another.

I suggest writing down the gateway problems as they come up so that you don’t forget, and then continuing with what you were doing. You could even set an “appointment” with the new topic on when you’re going to come back to it. At the end of the day, you may have a list of things, but then you’ll be able to prioritize them.

Does that make sense? Is it relevant?