Be indifferent that what makes no difference
I mentioned in the past that I fell in love with Stoic philosophy, and this quote is one of the reasons.
As product managers, we have to focus on the things that are crucial and develop an indifferent attitude towards anything that makes no difference.
That isn't a simple task. We have to deal with many people and opinions. Every stakeholder has hers or his agendas, wills, and views. We work for someone, and we work with others - they all wish to affect the product and make their mark.
We also have to deal with information, a lot of it. Sadly not all of it sits nicely together. We still have to sift through it and make a decision about the relevancy of the information. But how?
What is crucial, is for us to stay focused and indifference to anything that makes no difference to the product and the end users. No matter how loud the noise is, no matter how much people push or try to affect us. We should remember that the product and its end users are the ones that need our attention and loyalty. While it is essential to listen to others and look at information, we can't allow any of that to affect the decisions unless it makes sense to us as we hold the product and users in mind.
It also means that at the end of the day, the thing that you need to know are two things: what is the product, and who are the users. Answer that, and your work will become pure.