Comment: Here are a few links

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Here are a few links

which may help answer your question. I'll rewrite your question below.

"What are some specific techniques for a young man who is drowning in ideas to find a way to focus his attention?"

The biographies of Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Scientists & Engineers etc.; includes books on History, Economics & How to Study - Posted by Stillwater

In my post above, there is a book called How to Study by a civil engineer and MIT professor by the name of George Fillmore Swain. (Here is the direct link to the section of the post which gives an overview of the book and the author.)

The title of chapter III says "The third essential for a proper method of study is system."

Excerpt:

"DISCOVER THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEA OF THE SUBJECT.—Strip off the detail and get down to the root of the thing. See the really important point. Then, after this has been clearly perceived and mastered, arrange the details in their proper relations to the fundamentals. The subject will thus have a skeleton, and upon this the details will be placed. A subject of study thus viewed may be compared to the human body, with its bony skeleton or framework, and all the various organs and parts supported by it; or to a tree, with its trunk, branches and leaves. Thus to consider the relative importance of facts, to sift out the essential ones, will train the power of mental discrimination and cultivate the judgment.

When this is done, subsequent facts relating to the subject can be correlated with what is already known, and will in this way be easily retained by the memory. Remember and observe Jacotot's maxim, "Learn something accurately, and refer {43} the rest to that." Unessential facts, or those of secondary importance, may be passed over in the first reading, and left for a second or later reading, for a proper method of study always involves re-reading, perhaps many times.

You cannot possibly know everything even of a single subject, hence the importance of knowing the fundamental things about it and knowing them thoroughly. Even if you gain but an elementary knowledge of a subject, that knowledge may be thorough and should include fundamentals. Thorough elementary knowledge must not be confused with a smattering. The latter is worse than useless, and is marked by vagueness, uncertainty, and failure to grasp fundamentals. But elementary knowledge, if clear and definite as far as it goes, is valuable, and the first step toward more complete knowledge."

Also, here's a little time management book you with a lot of specific suggestions and techniques.

How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life - By Alan Lakein
http://www.amazon.com/Control-Your-Time-Life-Signet/dp/04511...