Are You A Spork? – How To Reexamine Your Priorities

Some of you may be asking, “What is a spork?” You have probably seen a plastic spoon with small tines cut into the tip so that it can act as both a spoon and a fork. It is not great at being a spoon, and it certainly is a terrible fork.

Sometimes when we try to do too many things, we do none of them well. Warren Buffett recommends making a comprehensive list of all your goals and then limiting them to your top five. In fact, he stresses how important it is “to avoid the rest at all cost.” Author Gary Keller takes this a step further by advocating just a single focus in his book, The ONE Thing (definitely a good read).

In medicine, we call this specialization. The medical literature has long shown that repetition and experience lead to better outcomes. Being everything to everyone leaves no time to be better at one thing.

You may now say that you are a Swiss Army knife, and that can be a good thing, too. If I was stranded in the woods, I would probably want a Swiss Army knife rather than a regular pocket knife. As a husband and a father, I sometimes need to be that Swiss Army knife. But I try to do it with focus. With this new year ahead, we all might need to re-examine our priorities.