What I Learned from Vacation in Italy

This time last week I was just arriving home from a 12 day trip around Italy. I had a wonderful vacation and got to spend 12 days with my cousin and brother whom I like to deem my travel buddies. We saw all the great sites and kept busy doing many different things (esp eating!) but I thought I would write about the thoughts and reflections that I had while I was there.
I always enjoy my trips to other countries because the pace of life is so different. I especially enjoyed and appreciated the Italian pace of life for its emphasis on quality over quantity as well as enjoyment of life. I spent a great deal of time reflecting on these and asking myself how I would begin to incorporate these reflections into my life. I made some pretty great decisions in my opinion :-).
How then does this relate to User Experience Design and my day to day work life? As I mentioned most of what I learned from the Italian way of life was:
1. Take pride and care in the work that you do. I rarely saw people rush through a job just to see it complete. They wanted to be sure that their product/service was the very best it could be. I decided that I wanted to be sure that I pay closer attention to the quality of my efforts as opposed to the deadlines bestowed upon me (although these are of course extremely important just not the sheer focus).
2. Don’t do something if there is no purpose. My goal is to find purpose in everything that I try to do and if there is new purpose then there is cause to reevaluate the action.
3. Take time to ENJOY life! This was probably the most important lesson that I learned. I decided that I would take the time to eat enjoyable and healthy meals (mostly healthy) most days of the week. I enjoy food and cooking and I don’t take enough time “enjoying” doing either. I’m always rushing to the next thing. I also decided that I would take the time to enjoy my work and my profession. To go out there and really get more out of the local and regional events instead of just showing up for networking and showing myself.
Perhaps you’ve already taken these steps in your life and this post is irrelevant. But in my observations I find that many people don’t take enough time to do the above, myself included, and this is a trend I want to stop in my life. Life is for living, including the work times, and I’m gonna start living it better.