Keep Your Eyes on the Horizon

December 14, 2018

One of the most valuable lessons one learns when driving on a racetrack is to keep one’s eyes on the horizon. You become a smoother and faster driver when you position yourself for the next turn while you negotiate the present one.

As an engineer, the tempt­ation is strong to focus intently on the tasks at hand; to over­emphasize a small list of items of immediate concern. It’s the equi­valent of staring at the road directly in front of you as your drive at speed.

Take time each day to look up at the horizon. Be aware of where you are in the schedule. Observe deadlines and obstacles approach­ing. Anti­cipate the needs of other teams that interface with your compo­nents. Maneu­ver yourself into the best position to handle the next challenge. Paradox­ically, the more factors you are aware of, the better you will be at figuring out what needs to be done in the immediate future.