Learning from Jack Butcher - 3
Jack's third building principle is especially relevant in today's age. "In a world of infinite distraction, focus is the only path to freedom". I've thought and written about all the things that compete for our attention. We have lives - social agendas, jobs, hobbies, relationships, all trying to prove their individual importance in our lives against one another. Competing for a finite resource we dictate the distribution on - time.
As we divide our attention up further and further, we degrade the quality of our offering to each prospective category. The more time spent pursuing ______, the less time is spent at _________. They're all interchangeable. We are constantly making decisions about what weight is put on the scale, a zero-sum balancing act. As I'm working my way through school, I see this problem in our education system. We enter into the juggling of a list of courses, some of which pertain to us, some of which don't. Perfection isn't expected, just doing "good" in all of them. We are taught to be average or good at many things. Using the most basic form of the word, these are all distractions. Distractions don't need to be bad things generally, but if they take away from the truly important items, they may as well be.
Jack's states in the second half that focus is freedom. By applying focus to the things that are most important to us, we not only become free of the distractions but we also gain freedom back of our time - time that was once used on unimportant things. I think focus also removes the mental burden that you aren't allocating your time appropriately. The added time to your life in addition to the loss of worry about your time decisions grants you mental freedom. Engaging in less allows for more elsewhere - more thinking and more doing.
Focus makes you a specialist, distractions make you a generalist.