Nose To The Grindstone

An article by David Brooks. Last updated: September 7, 2019

I find attention and interest fascinating. I started my career posting about design and development. 

I enjoyed it.

I had a little traction there, too.

And then I went silent. Mostly.

I was still working. I picked up projects, ran a studio, and launched projects. There was even a time of contracting over at Disney. 

Life was crazy. I was juggling family time, work, and church activities. Did I regret that? Not at all. 

Time is finite. But if you’re not careful you also use a lighter to burn time.

Like money, you can also budget your time. But humans don’t do that very well. We have 24 hours a day. After you take time to sleep, eat, and do work, what is left? 

For me, it was family and church. Those are my unmovable objects. 

You have to sleep and eat: more unmovable objects. 

That puts work time next on the chopping block. Work seems like an unmovable object, but is it? Nope!

When you’re starting a career, there’s a lot of learning. Once you have a grasp of how things work, that slows down a bit. You should always learn new things, but it usually transitions from active to passive learning. There may be times when you learn new skills actively. But as a general rule, that’s how it works. 

As you reach the point of passive learning, your time becomes flexible again. 


But when it is flexible, that’s where you can produce extra material. That’s where you can apply what you’ve learned and make strides elsewhere. 

When I started my site, I wrote about what I was learning. Now that I’m stable, I have the chance to write about what I’ve learned. Instead of speaking from within the process, I’m speaking from those years I spent doing my work.  

Do I regret all the dead air? Sometimes. 

Time is also like an investment. It can pay dividends over the long term.

But I also don’t kick myself too hard. A lot of what I would have written about would have been short-sighted. That’s a poor investment of time.

I don’t want to think about how many articles I wrote and scrapped in the last 10 years.

Could I have written 50 more articles about building apps? Yes. And it’s possible that would have helped a lot of people. But chances are better that the noise around development was too loud.  

On the other side of all that work, I have different opinions. 

So, here we go!


Get My Newest Content In Your Inbox

Sign up now and I'll also send you some of my most popular articles on design-thinking, photography, and running an agency. Not a drop of spam.

Categorised in: ,

A Photo of David Brooks

© Copyright 2005 - 2021 David N Brooks. All rights reserved.