Exploring Day

Last week I had one of those days. There was noth­ing urgent on deck. Not that there’s not a lot of stuff hang­ing around. It’s just that I was stuck wait­ing for a lot of things that I don’t con­trol. So rather then bang my head against a lot of stalled projects I took the day off to explore. 

It’s good to once in a while take a day off from the cur­rent work, and pop my head up above the cubi­cle walls. (No i don’t real­ly have a cubi­cle — the Magpie cen­ter for world dom­i­na­tion is much bet­ter pro­vi­sioned that that.) 

I have an ongo­ing list of ‘cool’ and ‘inter­est­ing’ and ‘not urgent but try to find’ things. 

I looked at some job inter­view sto­ries, played with Eclipse, and browsed Etsy, and read a ton of sewing machine reviews. (I have a bad feeling … )

And what ever else passed my way. Because some­times it’s impor­tant to have look around at the world beyond the walls of the fort. You know?

I caught up on all the stuff I’ve not been read­ing in the feed-reader. I end­ed up ditch­ing anoth­er set of feeds. I think weed­ing on a reg­u­lar basis is impor­tant. Often a month or two or read­ing a blog is suf­fi­cient to fig­ure out what the author’s main point is and what issues you are going to want to fol­low in that blog. Then when a par­tic­u­lar top­ic is cir­cu­lat­ing you can go back and check in with that writer and get their take on it. But you don’t have to read it every­day. Does that make sense?

Smashing Magazine con­tin­ues to impress. List blogs are often dull and unin­for­ma­tive. But these guys (gals?) do it right. Pick a top­ic — go look at as many of the tools, resources, posts, what have you, as they can find. Give each one a good look­ing over and write it all up. Not just a bunch of links but insight com­ments about what you’re look­ing at — com­ments informed by expe­ri­ence in the field. For a design new­bie like me it’s invaluable.