Fridays are low-production days for me. My mind is on the weekend, sometimes I’m getting the trailer ready to go camping, and often my husband is working around the house, which is distracting. Summer is generally slower for me as well, so I tell my clients I am unavailable on Fridays save for emergencies and use that day to clean my desk, work on my business, and especially expand my skills.
If you are anything like me you probably get caught up in the daily workflow and just managing to get everything done can be a struggle. Meanwhile the coding world is moving on like the ever-expanding universe, ceaselessly creating newly created applications, frameworks, libraries, and workflow systems. Who has time to look at them, much less figure out if that new framework is better that what you are currently using?
During the rest of the week I collect all references to things I find interesting in one place. Since I use The Brain, I keep the links in my master brain, but you could use a bookmarks folder or even a text file. Every Friday I go through the list, read the articles, check out what interests me and test-drive any new applications or frameworks that catch my eye. This usually takes me most of the morning and in the afternoon I work on any new skills I’m currently pursuing.
I find this a fun and very productive way to stay up to date, as well as adding to my skills. On the downside, it encourages a dilettante approach to learning. I tend to focus on the newest shiny thing, even if it isn’t on my list of skills to learn.
Do you have a similar day or time when you catch up with new shiny things? Or do you just catch as catch can? Let me know in the comments!