Never stop improving – and have a plan

‘Never stop improving’ is a great soundbite. With the world evolving so fast, and in so many directions at once, the temptation to keep up is strong. But how do you do it? How do you create the plan, and actually stick to it? How do you keep focus on the skills and knowledge that’s valuable to you? Either personally, or professionally?

The short answer is, it’s not easy – and full of delightful distractions (sound of browser tab being closed, and another one opened – containing a cute cat meme). But I have been exploring this ‘self-improvement’ area for a while, and found a lot of insights, and would love to share them.

For starters, you should explore (and adopt) new digital tools to make your life projects easier (see Trello, Slack, ToDoist), or rely on digital assistants and bots to automate your smallest daily chores (Cortana, Siri, Ok Google). These all help, but they also can take something away. Your valuable time (learning and experimenting with them), and your own, internal knowledge and past experiences. So at what point does a digital tool, a dashboard of activity – stops being helpful and becomes a drain on your time and attention? I’ve been trying to answer that for myself for a couple of years. Again, the answer is not easy.

There’s a fine balance between letting technology optimize your life, and relying on it to unnecessarily accelerate it. Don’t do the latter. Don’t be in a rush to start your next task (I know, gasp!). It’s a time trap. Just improve for the sake of improvement – a part of your daily process. Keep making better habits and testing them out in the wild. And in the spare time (which you just freed up) – do what you enjoy most.  No, not cat memes. Your hobbies. Your actual interests. Do the stuff that makes you smile without even noticing. It matters more.

Before I end this, here’s some recommended reading (yes, there will be homework): there’s a great longread on creating better habits (via @Medium), a hilarious take on the pitfalls of working from home (via @NewYorker), and the announcement of Trello being purchased by Atlassian (via @techcrunch). These 3 were very valuable reads for me. Let’s hope they’re of value to you as well.

And don’t forget to tell your friends that Dmitry (Pixel Studioz) is dabbling with newsletters :)

Thanks for your time

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