It seems that my time to take it easy and reflect on life, work, etc is coming to an end. Yesterday I signed a deal with one of my favorite clients, working on a very exciting project for the next few months. Because I had set some goals that I hoped to achieve in my time off and also because I’ve learned a great deal in the past 6 weeks, I’ve decided to share some of my learnings here. I hope they help you to think differently about your path through life!
The first thing I did before writing this post, was check the Taking It Easy post that I wrote before I started my time off. Looking through, I see that I attained quite a few of my goals. First, I got a whole bunch more sleep… and that has been awesome. Second, I did do a whole ‘lotta nothing, but I also did a whole lot of stuff. The stuff I did do were things I enjoyed such as the Circleline trip, and my trip to Oregon (read more about the Oregon Beer Trail at Wuz On Tap). Third, I took the time to enjoy both the city and the country. I did things in NYC that I normally don’t take the time to do. For example, sit on a park bench or have impromptu coffee/drinks with friends. I made sure that I reflected on those moments and appreciated them. Also, I got the chance to go back to Sullivan County for a week and enjoy the fresh country air. I saw friends from my youth and spent time with my family. I even went golfing!
So those were the goals that I accomplished, but more importantly I wanted to reflect on what I learned during this time. The first thing I learned is that I learn more when I’m trying not to learn. Meaning when I try to keep up with every new bit of information that is coming out, I actually retain less. I also learned that getting outside of the UX Community to meet others makes me better at the UX end of things. The UX side of me is never going to disappear, I’ll always have the passion and background for it. But learning about Tech and Business and other industries stretches how my mind thinks about UX. I learned, or reaffirmed, that UX is everywhere. From my ride on the Circleline to sitting on a park bench, every great experience has been thought through, designed, and iterated based on what worked and what didn’t.
Probably my most important learning was how to just be. I use to spend every second of my free time thinking about and working on my career, my website, my blog, my contacts, etc. And this is good, in the sense that I was devoting myself to my work. But the one thing I wasn’t doing was enjoying and being a part of my work, and more importantly my own life. By letting go and having faith in myself and the hardwork that I’ve done, I’m now better able to love the work that I do and the life that I live. I can appreciate the park bench moments and use them to refuel instead of thinking about all the things I have to get done that day. In reality there is nothing that I “have” to do, and the key is to turn those things into I “wants” instead of I “haves”.
So, this is a new chapter for me. My goal is to go forth with these learnings and continue to maintain, at least in some way, some balance in my life. By doing so I can love the chaos even more! Let’s see if I can keep up the good work.