Greatest Hits and New Beginnings

January 24, 2013 •

In the past few years, if you have been one of the very small number of people to have stumbled upon this blog, you will have noticed a distinct lack of two things in my posts: quality, and frequency. I’m not sure why it’s been such a struggle to really get this blog off the ground, but it has.

Whilst, like everyone else, I agree that resolutions are a pretty bad idea, I have resolved to expend significant effort this year in improving the kind of content I create and share on this very website.

Moving forward, I’m going to focus on creating the kind of content that I love to consume. Blogs like Hack / Make, Macdrifter, and A Better Mess, as well as podcasts like Back To Work are a huge influence on the way I work, and the way that I view tainted buzzwords like “productivity”. Whilst I don’t consider myself to be in the same league as those guys, it helps to know your heroes. Hopefully, in the coming months the posts here will drill down into the personal issues that we face with our struggle to get more done. By integrating deeper concepts, borrowed from areas such as Bhuddism, into the tips ‘n’ tricks popular with the Lifehacker crowd, we can hope to create systems that are both meaningful and practical, without getting lost in the details.

Avoiding the numerous traps you set for your self on the journey to creating something can be a tricky business. When I decided to revamp and refocus this blog on what I actually care about, my next action was “find a new tool”. After only a few months with Jekyll, I was already looking for something new to fiddle with. Bombarding myself with “what if” questions, I was trying to prematurely optimise the blog with feature after feature, meaningless cruft that would only serve to distract from any posts that I have managed to craft into an engaging narrative. After a few days deep in the throes of a CMS identity crisis, something clicked: this doesn’t matter. The forever and a day that I could spend worrying about which static blogging system to play with, which font to use, which CSS framework to base the site, would only get in the way of the actual creating - the whole reason I wanted to overhaul this site in the first place.

Picking the right tool for the job isn’t easy, and with a virtually limitless amount of information available on the web, finding the perfect tool is damn near impossible. Don’t look for the perfect tool. Understanding what you really want, identifying your desired outcomes, frees you from concerns about tools. The meaning behind what you create, whether you have it in a professionally-themed Wordpress blog or a plain-text Gist on GitHub, remains the same. I don’t want to let meaning be obscured, or delayed, by tools.

There’s never been a better time to be mindful of the way you work.