I recently saw a comment on Hacker News about what it takes to focus your interests. The commenter said that you shouldn't consume "interesting" content. Everything's interesting. You should only take read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts about what you're trying to focus on.
This has been resonating with me since I read it, and I think that it really makes sense. I am perpetually fascinated. I want to learn everything. This means that I am constatnly reading and learning, but my focus is so broad that I rarely actually finish something.
I summed this up in a web comic that I illustrated a while back. See: Adventures in trying to focus
This problem of life focus is different that the problems of day-to-day focus however. As a distinction, I'll refer to the former as "macro-focus", and the latter as "micro-focus".
Right now, my wife and I are working on a children's book to raise money for an adoption. It's something that we talked about doing for a long time, and this seems like the perfect impetus to pursue it. This got me on a big illustrating kick, and I've been posting drawings nearly every day as I practice and explore options for our book.
And like clockwork, my mind starts off on some other project. My drawings start to wane as I fall headlong into the fascination of yet another idea.
I have tried a number of tactics to deal with micro-focus, and I'm sure that I'll write about some of those here as well, but I've not had a concerted effort on dealing with macro-focus.
For now, I'm going to try the following:
- Decide what my focus should be.
- Decide what things are neat, but are not worth focusing on right now.
- Immerse myself in content and exercises that surround my focused project.
- Complete things before moving on to the next.
Basically, this sounds like changing my whole life, so we'll see how this goes.