Life is too short to spend 2300 hours a year working on someone else's idea of what the right problems are.
There are so many alibis. Why weren't you first? Why didn't you do it right? Don't try an alibi. Don't try and kid yourself. You can tell other people all the alibis you want. I don't mind. But to yourself try to be honest.
Self-deception remains the most difficult deception.
The misapplication of effort is a very serious matter. If you do not work on an important problem, it's unlikely you'll do important work.
Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on.
You have to neglect things if you intend to get what you want done.
What focus means is saying no with every bone in your body to something you know is a good idea but you say no because you're focused on something else.