Learning Above All Else

I value one thing above all else in my work: learning.

Learning isn’t only about absorbing new knowledge. 

It is putting into practice that knowledge, and deliberate practice of new skills. 

Spending all your time reading and gaining new knowledge isn’t learning. It’s procrastination. 

In fact, the fastest way to learn is to start, and then learn things as needed. 

The only downside to this approach is you may not know all the options, so it’s sometimes useful to skim through an overview of things first. Then you’ll know when it’s time to go back to the learning material.

Balancing execution with learning can be difficult. 

Too much learning, and you’ll make no progress. 

Too much execution, and you’ll move forward much slower than if you’d stopped to think about what you’re working on. 

Execution in the wrong direction is bad. Grinding out work when a you could build a system isn’t efficient.

The fastest learning occurs when you have time and space to focus on one project. 

Enough empty blocks of time to concentrate, and enough freedom to switch back and forth between knowledge acquisition and application. 

A project is a great way to learn. You have a concrete end goal and a method of application. 

Projects fit well with the variety I like in my work too. I get bored doing the same thing over and over again.

New projects provide an opportunity for learning, but also for a change.

Whether it’s a new project, a new team, a new focus, or a new experiment, learning is always my top priority. 

It’s often why I choose to change jobs, or how I choose between them.

Learning above all else.