One thing at a time

February 24, 2013 - By

In 2007 I bit off more than I could chew. I setup a new computer, using a new operating system, and new versions of productivity and web software. In essence, nothing in my day to day workflow was 100% familiar! While it can be exciting to be cutting-edge, it becomes a lot harder to troubleshoot problems when they’re new and you’re unfamiliar with their quirks.

In the same way, if you’re making websites it might be tempting to dive into making sites in some new way! This is understandable since there’s so much stuff to keep up with.In the last three years we’ve seen the emergence of mobile, the fading of traditional screens (the range in size getting simultaneously bigger and smaller, the advent of touch, and high pixel density screens), new languages (css3, and  html5 being at the forefront), methodologies (like smacss, oocss), preprocessors (sass, less, haml, jade etc.), responsive and countless others. How well are you keeping up with all of this?

It can be tempting to try to take on a lot of the trends and shiny new techniques you’re hearing about, and to an extent you should! To try to adopt too many new things on a production site simultaneously would be a mistake.

I used to be a habitual multi-tasker, but research and my own experience shows that this isn’t as efficient as it feels, nor does it produce the quality you would get when you focus on a single task. My experience with learning is no different: I can learn one thing at a time way more thoroughly than I can two things – especially if (as is often the case with web) those two things have some overlapping!

Push yourself! You’ll always have something to learn when you’re working in this industry, but for the sake of the website, the client, and your sanity just take on one new challenge at a time.

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This post was written by ArleyM