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— Mar 12, 2013 —

What's going on in my funny mind

Earlier today, the wonderful Laura Kalbag wrote about burnout.

She wrote about how really caring about your work can create a serious side effect in the shape of burnout. But it was the last sentence in Laura's post that made me want to write this.

"Let’s talk about these funny minds of us more."

So here I am, about to give you a little glimpse into how my rusty old noggin functions. So here it goes...

I love my work.

I've been building websites for over 12 years now, and to work in a job, or rather, a career where you can pretty much guarantee that every day will throw you a new challenge at you or something else to learn; well, I don't think there's any other industry quite like it.

But this also makes me worry.

I worry that I won't be able to keep up. Every time some new tool, script, method, process, podcast, article or blog post is released, I put myself under pressure to read, listen and learn, in order to stay in the loop or ahead of the curve.

To stop yourself going insane from the massively overwhelming amount of new things that appear on a daily basis in the web design industry, you have to have a little moment of clarity.

You have to concede.

I had conceded that I will never be at the forefront of every advancement in my chosen field. This was particularly difficult for me, and I still have lapses where I feel like I'm falling behind. The hundreds of unread articles sitting in my Pocket account right now are a testament to that.

My formative years of building websites were in the (hopefully now) bygone era of table-based layouts. I wasn't 12 years old, hacking things together in my bedroom, this was when I was out of University and managed to bag a full-time position as a junior web developer.

Back then everything was so simple. I was young(ish), I had (what I considered to be) a cool job, and potentially anyone in the world (with an internet connection) could see the work I had done.

But the more I worked, the more I learned. The more I learned, the more I found out about what I didn't know. And I'm not someone who only needs to know the bare minimum to get by. My brain doesn't work like that. It needs to know what it's missing out on, and what it needs to improve upon that in order to make me better at what I do every day.

And as much as my brain may want to do this for all the facets of my role as quickly as possible, the simple fact that I am only human gets in the way.

And so it should.

I can now, at least most of the time, accept that I can't do everything at once, that I can't work all hours (he types as he's drafting this at 23:37 on a school night), and that there are some things that just aren't practical for me to learn at a given point in time.

Now I can decide for myself what, when and how I should learn.

I hope you can embrace your limitations, be only human, and decide for yourself too.