A few months ago on a Cheeky thread, Jared Kopf, founder of Adroll, made this statement:

I have more ideas than I have time (can’t do everything I envision); and even time is boundless compared with energy (always wish I had more to give); and I have more energy than I have focus. So focus is really what matters. The choice of what to do; that is where value is created.


I always knew I was limited by time. I vaguely understood that my time would be limited by my energy. But damn, the man is right — the real limiting factor — the scarcest resource — was focus.

It’s pretty liberating to think of focus is a quantifiable, limited resource. We all agree our time and energy is limited, but ‘focus’ gets treated like a vague principle. Like time or energy, focus can run out as well!

Focus is what I daydream about. What I think about subconsciously as I chop vegetables for dinner. What I process as I sleep. What I spontaneously jump back into working on because a thought came to me.

With extra time and extra energy left over, it’s very tempting to put them to work. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t. But free time and free energy mean nothing if I’ve already dedicated my focus.

Originally published at Tal Raviv.