Jason Fried, founder and CEO of Basecamp, published a great piece on Signal vs. Noise that I just stumbled upon thanks to Twitter.
Being able to see what matters, to know what’s worth doing is an instinct you can hone, a skill you can build. I’d consider it a top requirement for anyone tasked with making key decisions.
I would expand that to say it’s a top requirement for anyone. Making key decisions about what to work on is something we all face.
I’ve had the same conversation a few times now with new Happiness Engineers that start at Automattic. When they first join the company, they’re obviously excited and ready to make a big impact. They dive right in to every project they find helping out here and helping out there.
For a short time, the juggling act works, and everything is sustainable. Over time, the foundation starts to crumble, and they become overwhelmed, forced to take things off their plate to maintain some sense of sanity.
I know this feeling all too well because it happened to me.