Focus

I want to do everything. The reason people go to MIT and the curse of the Institution: exposing its students to so much of what is being used, worked on, developed -- what has been done, and what can be done.

We're all surrounded, constantly, by what seems like a neverending supply of incredibly ambitious and brilliant peers - how can we not get distracted?

I'd like to be really damn good at one thing - be it a thorough knowledge of each Javascript library and its pros and cons, or being able to quickly sketch out interfaces to complex multithreaded Java code, or being able to toss off 15 reasons I like Python more than PHP or why Ruby on Rails has saved the Internet. Maybe it's just that everyone who's been presented to me as someone to look up to has been really good at one thing, and I'm responding to that.

But I also want to do everything. I want to know everything, I want to mess around with Javascript and JQuery one minute, experiment with Django the next, poke around to see what procmail can do, hack together a visualizer for my scattered Adium logs... I want to drink everything in and there's just not enough time.

How do people focus? How do you choose to focus - and how many people were forced to focus  on one thing, then lost track of the others?

Let me know what you think on Twitter.