This is primarily an exercise in record keeping. Two years ago I wrote a post about burnout and went silent. Here are some things which have transpired since:
I found work which fits the parameters outlined here.
I published Contributions to put myself on the hook for figuring out more purposeful work, aiming at either of two broad categories: #1 enabling networks of people to help each other or #2 helping the technology industry be a better version of itself. I’ve now clocked nearly two years as a Community Manager at Stack Overflow. Both sets of parameters are being met surprisingly well.
Better attention management.
Our attention spans don’t scale to the size of the internet. In March of 2014 I took the month off Twitter, which gave me a chance to examine how it was re-patterning my brain. The silence was delicious, and the hiatus equipped me to make clearer decisions about where I spend my cognitive resources. My relationship to social media hasn’t been the same since.
The start of a thesis.
In May of 2015 I presented at CMX Summit East on the five traits of enduring communities. This was the first time I’d done any speaking since taking time away, and it was rewarding to lay down a cohesive set of ideas which were the product of several years of work. I also couldn’t have asked for a better place to do it. (To David, Carrie, Yrja – thank you!)
These are subtle but significant changes which come from focused effort. I look forward to continuing to put in the work.