Bernie Anderson
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Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Professionalization: 3 Intentional Ways to Get Better

As I finish up a season of travel, many of my thoughts have been around the subject of personal and professional development.


How do we get better?
How do we develop ourselves?
How do we professionalize?
How do we fight the tendency to lean on natural ability?

Daily (or regular) professionalization requires at least three intentions:

Intentional Time

Time is math. One day divided by 24 hours minus sleep time is how many hours you and I have to work with. Time is the great equalizer. We all have the same amount. We each make our own choices of how we use the hours we've been given.

How we spend our hours is how we spend our days.

And, as Annie Dillard has so aptly stated:

How we spend out days is, how we spend our lives.
— Annie Dillard

Intentional Attention

Time isn't enough, if distraction is persistent. Professionalization requires the removal of distraction. We know (or at least we should know by now?) that multi-tasking is not possible for the human brain (with the exception of a small percentage of genetic outliers) - and what we call multi-tasking is merely task-switching - which requires extra blood to the brain and significantly decreases productivity bandwidth.

Want to "go pro"? Focus on "your thing" for an hour, without distraction. That's a great start.

Intentional Investment

Invest in skill building. Invest in getting better. This will cost time, attention, and potentially cash (although there is A LOT of learning and development which can be done for free).

Professional development doesn't have to be a yearly conference, or a day out of work with a droning speaker with a dull slide deck. Professional development should be the daily professionalization of your work - what ever that work may be. With time, attention, and investment, we can move forward and get unstuck by simply getting better.