Following

May 27, 2014

One of the pillars of learning web design, in my opinion, is filtering who you follow through all mediums. As James Altucher explains, “You become what inspires you the most” meaning that every piece of content you imbibe is inspiring, defeating or distracting your work and life. I wholeheartedly agree with James and think that everywhere online we go to recharge or get information is effecting the work we create down the road.

Everything from podcasts to blogs to Twitter is effecting the work we’ll create as designers on a project in the future. It’s effecting how we learn to build sites and how we learn new pieces of code. The easiest way I get trapped or distracted is to hoard bookmarks or follow new people on Twitter in hopes that I’ll grab some new skills along the way.

I would love to learn ALL the things and there a million enticing tweets and amazing stories for me to dive into. However, all of these people I’m following and new things I’m storing up to learn are what I am becoming. Is bookmarking a Python tutorial the best use of the real estate in my Bookmark manager when I want to become a badass at Javascript?

Filter what you imbibe and only allow what you want to become in the stream.

Are we following the right people? As a n00b developer am I just “starring” things on Github that end in .js? I want to learn to build MVPs but am I just storing up on tutorials that I will never actually complete? Maybe you have the same questions too or you haven’t seen a lot of progress even after committing to learning to become a web designer. I feel like I’ve plateaued in my pursuit to learn Javascript after I learned enough jQuery to make a page shake. Maybe it’s because I have been storing up too many links or following people who aren’t tweeting about JS.

I’m going to cut all the bookmarks I’ve been saving. The only thing that’s staying in my bookmark bar is one link from Bocoup about learning jQuery that has fundamental exercises to learn Javascript. When I’m done completely learning what that resource has to offer, then I’ll allow something new in my bookmark bar. I’m going to unfollow people on twitter and only read links that help me pursue my goal. Will you join me? Cut something today. Even if it’s me. If this resource isn’t helping push you to your goal, cut it. Put it in a folder you can reference in a month when you’ve knocked your current goal out and a new, smarter version of yourself emerges.

For entrepreneurs, getting to your first customer is the only thing you should be focused on. Cut all bookmarks or anything thats influencing you that’s preventing that from happening. For web designers and n00bs, don’t start learning anything new until you finish that thing you’ve had in the back of your mind. Don’t perfect it, just finish it and share it. No more bookmark library or a following unnecessary personalities or distractions on Twitter. Pick one link and become consumed by it and don’t add another thing until you’re an expert on that subject.

I’ve learned to be ruthless with who I allow into my mind if I want to succeed in my journey. I started unfollowing people and trashing bookmarks using the framework below…