Previously, I wrote:
I’m having too much fun focusing on more things with less distraction.
Maybe it sounds preachy, maybe not. If it does, I don’t mean it do be and if it doesn’t then I’m writing well enough; however, I still have the question as to what this means for this site. And though the answer isn’t necessarily as clear as I’d like, it’s better than that it was, say, four weeks ago.
And it may be a trivial, uninteresting thing to write about but I’ve written about just about anything and everything related to what it is I do with regard to this site, developing software, WordPress, and so for the majority for my career.
So as I hope to add to that, I seems to be reasonable to share why before getting back to what I normally do and starting to do more than I once did.
In other words, why stop now?
🕚 Then, Now, and Soon
The most obvious thing to state right now is that a lot can change in five years, exponentially so in 10+ years. Anyone can recap what it is that’s occurred in their personal and professional lives over any period of time. I’m not a beautiful or unique snowflake.
All of that, though, is that I still think going deep rather than wide (all the while keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the tech field) is my favorite way to way.
So here’s the briefest explanation I can give as to where I am right now:
- I’m still involved in WordPress both professionally and as a hobby,
- I still enjoy writing (though time is obviously limited),
- There are plenty of things I’ve been working on both at work that are very interesting problems, and there are also projects I’ve been working on outside of work some of which involve software, some of which involve documenting what it’s like to now live and raise a family in a more rural area, and some that involve other passions such as music.
At the first of the year, I talked bout Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport and how I was going to adopt it for at least the first month of the year. I did and I loved it.
Then I began to read Deep Work and I have been listening to his podcast since the first of the year where Cal talks about the tenants of the deep life, answers questions from people of all types, and then also gives plenty of references to history, other writers both historical and contemporary, and it lead me down a trail of finding other interesting content from a handful of other people.
👨🏻💻 Aiming For a Deep Life
So, to get to my first point, all of that to say is that I’m not only more interested in what it means to cultivate a deep life (through craft, community, contemplation, constitution), but I’m less interested in whatever is going on with social media.
Now, this gets dicey for me because I’ve people people who have become life long friends. We’ve worked together, they’ve stayed at my house, we talk frequently, but there’s literally no way for me to maintain focus on anything when there’s a firehose of nearly irrelevant information (often outrage) from everyone sharing out their statements into the ether.
Again, there’s no way for me to do it. For you? More power to you.
So I took the summer off of all social media networks.
I just recently checked my notifications, responded to one, and signed off.
There’s a caveat here: There are three very small groups on Facebook of which I’m a part that I book mark to check to make sure I’m not missing anything (the behemoth is a necessary inconvenience, it seems), but I’ve 100% not missed anything else.
In fact, I’d argue that I’ve done better work, have been able to focused more, my attention span is longer, and the ability to focus on a hard problem for work or even writing a blog post without tabbing through however many sites are open has been an exercise just like any thing else you may work on when it comes to fitness (mental or physical).
And I don’t want to go back.
📥 Intensely Focus by Triaging Incoming Data
It’s weird at first. It’s probably especially so when we’re so wired into people able to instantly write and respond that it feels like radio silence or disrespect. On the contrary though.
- I want to be able to read more,
- I want to foster deeper relationships with friends (or meet new people do the same),
- I want to do the best work possible for my family, my self, my job, and whoever is asked of it,
- I want to really focus on the hobbies and interests that I have to sharpen my skills,
- And I want to be able to be known as someone who can be trusted such that when he’s asked to do something, it’s gonna get done well, and ample focus will be given to whatever is asked of me.
And there are things that I’ve previously been a part of that don’t fit into that list.
So I don’t know yet what this means for some thing like Twitter. Delete it? Create a list of a 100 people and just participate there? Syndicate my blog posts, share information I find useful, and let those who want to reach me do so by some other means than a reply or a DM?
Verdict’s out. But I’m working on it.
👍🏻 Changing It Up
Finally, since I’m finding it harder to write more frequently these days there are two things I’m working on for how I’m changing this site in addition to the programmatic-related tasks:
- I’ve set a static homepage that will be updated as there is more content to write about.
- I’m going to start including more short-form content that may be commentary on other things that I find relevant in engineering economy. And when I say commentary, I don’t mean slinging mud. I mean my thoughts on the thing, not the person behind the thing.
And this wraps up everything I had to say about all of things I’ve been sitting on for sometime but have not yet had a chance about which to publish.
From here, I’m eager to see where things go. Feel free Tweet me but don’t expect a response 😉.