Why Entrepreneurs Need to Do One Thing at a Time

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Back in 1897, Spanish neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal — winner of the Nobel Prize — wrote a book called Advice for a Young Investigator. He argued that instead of spending hours reviewing books, lectures and broad research, scientists should focus deeply on a single object of study. This state, he wrote, “refines judgment, enriches analytical powers, spurs constructive imagination, and — by focusing all light of reason on the darkness of a problem — allows unforeseen and subtle relationships to be discovered.”

Credit goes to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, who introduced many of us to Ramón y Cajal in his 2018 book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. And yes, the founder of modern neuroscience was addressing 19th-century researchers, but his words are just as relevant — if not more so — for today’s entrepreneurs. We all have 24 hours in a day. Or as the online meme reminds us, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé.”

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