Young’s Principle of Interference
Interference between waves can be constructive or destructive
People get in my way.
People are always interrupting me, breaking my flow.
If, however, I reflect on these interruptions I find that they do not always, ultimately, have negative outcomes. In many cases these interruptions lead to, for example, me stopping working on something that I had already spent enough time on.
I think this is about the nature of relationships. A specific other individual has a higher likelihood of causing significant negative or positive interruptions. So I analyse this to mean, does this friend/coworker/business partner add ultimate value when they disrupt my work?
This idea of disruption was thrown around for years in the tech industry, and Jason Fried often talked about interruptions as a source of negativity in the workplace. In the case of tech disruption in general, it seems a little simplistic to suggest that all industry disruptions are beneficial. The disruptions generally associated with recent tech are generally good as they’ve resulted in greater accessibility to certain products and services. However it is useful to remember that disruptions are unlikely to always be constructive. I should have a concrete example to put here but I haven’t been writing much so I can’t be bothered, but as I’m working from first principle I’d imagine it’s safe. Jason Fried’s perspective on disruptions in the workplace is also relatively simplistic. Being interrupted can be a good thing because resetting your workflow can make you aware of an unnecessary path.
For people who are looking for new partners in the form of friends, new companies to work for, business partners to start something new with, I recommend becoming more aware of their impact. Does your new friend create more, good opportunities for you, or fewer? It’s important here that in your reflections you follow your friend’s impact all the way through to the result. Intermediary steps on the path to the result are unlikely to be an accurate guide.
Here’s an example. You meet a new friend, go out for drinks with them and halfway through the night they unexpectedly leave. You may be offended, but what happens next is the important thing. As a result of their leaving are you presented with new, better opportunities? Perhaps you meet some other interesting people on account of your being left alone in a bar.
If you have any perspective on this, please feel free to leave a comment below.