*Editor’s Note: This article was originally written and published on an old blog on June 18, 2013.
Every single day I struggle with determining how my time is best spent – do I create right now or do I learn right now? It’s this battle between the two that I still haven’t quite figured out. Obviously, I must create in order to get my job done. I must write and complete projects and bring ideas to life — or what good am I?
But I also must continue learning and ensure that I’m the best possible resource to my colleagues and my clients, and of course myself. There is so much information out there that I want to consume, it’s not always easy to determine when enough is enough.
This is especially true with my personal life and passions — outside of my job. I love photography, writing, blogging, graphic and web design, exploring my creative side, public speaking, and overall just learning and experiencing new things. So, when I have that precious “me” time, I am often faced with the questions…
I need both. The world needs both.
But where and when do we draw the line? I wish I knew. Is one more important than the other? You can create no matter what… you don’t always need a skill or particular knowledge to just create something… but a lot of what I WANT to create (websites, graphics, photography, online businesses) means I need to LEARN a thing or two. I need to expand my knowledge and finish that course. I need to follow through with my education on that topic — even though I’ve become distracted by the act of doing.
Writing – that’s easy. I don’t need to learn. I just need to write. Maybe that’s why I love it.
But for everything else, I guess it’s just another balancing act — like everything in life. The answer for me is typically doing what absolutely needs to be done (in the case of work) as well as listening to what I feel in that moment. If the mood hits me and I just need to write, then I write. If I feel thirsty for knowledge and the blogs I follow are calling out to me, well I act on it and try to absorb as much information in those quick moments.
Then sometimes — not as often as it should be — I sit down and make one or the other the priority because I know it’s exactly what I need. Complete that chapter in my blogging course, publish a new blog post, watch that webinar…
How do you balance these two? Can you think of a time when you probably procrastinated taking action and focused too much on learning? What did you learn from that situation?