The easy trumps the important

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Steve Jobs
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What’s the most important task you have to work on today?

I’ve noticed that the complex OSS projects that have multiple different sub-projects running (often with multiple different project managers/coordinators running them) can lead to the contributors losing track of what’s most important. And when people lose track of what’s important, they tend to work on what’s easy.

When there are too many different changes in direction, priorities and objectives, it’s really hard for people to determine what to focus on. And complex OSS projects also tend to be abuzz with meetings and emails, which further blur focus because of all the actions that arise from them.

As a leader in these environments, your main role is to remove the clutter and help your team to understand what the real focus points should be. Invariably, this will be a focus on doing rather than thinking, talking or documenting. Unfortunately, complex OSS projects have a tendency to inspire more thinking, talking and documenting rather than doing.

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