On spreading myself (too?) thin

As some of you might have seen, I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing in the last couple of months. Next to a weekly blog post for this website, I’ve been busy writing several articles for TechBeacon and StickyMinds, as well as a couple of one-offs for other sites. Next to that, I’ve also reviewed a couple of chapters for a book, I’m preparing another webinar and I’ll be delivering several training courses and talks in the next couple of months, so I’m spending time preparing those too. And there’s this thing called ‘client work’ that takes up a lot of time as well..

Needless to say, it’s a challenge sometimes to get everything done and still stick to my own quality standards. So much so, that I’ve finally realized it might be a good idea to back down a little. That’s hard for me, because I love doing all the things I’m allowed to do and I like to do as much of them as possible. But I feel that slowly, I’m starting to compromise on quality, and that’s the exact opposite of what I stand for.

Maybe even more important, all that writing and other stuff works with quite narrow deadlines, which on the one hand is a blessing for a world class procrastinator like myself, but on the other hand, it also is the main cause of me putting the urgent (the work with the short deadlines) before the important (the work that I really feel needs to be done). Because there’s always another blog post or article to write, or a call to do, there’s no time for the deep work required to create some of the things I want to create.

Some of you might know what I’m referring to, because I’ve been in touch with a number of people to discuss the idea: I’d love to do something about the way test automation is taught in courses. See this blog post or a more elaborate explanation of what I mean by that statement. But creating a course that covers everything I think should be covered will not be easy, nor will it be fast. But since it’s something I feel so strongly about, it’s worth it to carve out the required time from my schedule. Even if that does mean disappointing some people, or saying ‘no’ to requests or invitations.

And there’s another, albeit smaller, course related to automation (and to Selenium in particular) that I’d like to see published as well. So there’s time needed for that too. That means I’ll have to be a little more careful with my time and planning, something I never really had to do before. So, in a way, this will be a good lesson for me as well.

I’ll still try to write a blog post every week, but if needs must, I might have to break that promise to myself as well. I’ll keep you posted.

2 thoughts on “On spreading myself (too?) thin

  1. Bas,
    We all do it. At some point we put too much on our plates and can’t do all of it efficiently or effectively. You have to take a step back, prioritize, reduce the load and then come back at it strong. You’ve been very very active this last 9-12 months (I’ve noticed) and it is been beneficial to all of us. Thank you for your efforts.

    Time to give yourself a break and re-energize, you’ve earned it. Best to you sir.

    • Thanks Jim! I’ll try and take that to heart! I’ve said twice already in the past two days, must be a personal record 🙂

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