Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro focusing on cloud computing, Kubernetes, Linux, containers, and networking

A Depth Year in 2023

Off and on for a number of years, I published a “projects for the coming year” post and a “report card for last year’s projects” post (you can find links to all of these here). Typically, the project list was composed of new things I would learn and/or new things I would create or do. While there’s nothing wrong with this sort of thing—not at all!—I came across an idea while reading that I’ve decided I’ll adopt for 2023: a depth year.

The idea comes from this article, which I found while searching for some other information. Basically, a “depth year” is a year focused on going “deeper” (increasing your expertise in things you already know) instead of going “wider” (adding new things to what you know). Don’t take on new hobbies; instead, focus on getting better at the hobbies you already have. Don’t buy new books; instead, read the unread books that you keep meaning to get around to but never actually do. Don’t buy courses to learn something new; instead, finish the courses you already purchased.

I love this idea. Now, I know already that there is one small area where I’ll violate the rule of not starting something new (stay tuned for that), but I’m going to try to adhere to the spirit of the depth year as much as possible:

  • I can finish reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, which I started and never finished. And, since I have two of my sons finally reading it, I may go re-read So Good They Can’t Ignore You again (one of my favorite books).
  • Perhaps I’ll finish reading Mindshift by Barbara Oakley, which I also started but never finished.
  • I have several other books that are on my shelf that I haven’t even started yet; those include Soft-Wired and Tinker Dabble Doodle Try.
  • I can work on becoming more proficient with Golang by finishing some of the Go courses that I purchased a couple years ago.
  • I can revisit topics I blogged about in past years to be sure the knowledge is still correct and accurate, and write or update posts accordingly.

Those are just a few potential “deeper not wider” efforts that I can take on in 2023. I’m sure there are far more; like so many of us, there is a pile of abandoned projects and efforts to pull from.

What about you? What are your plans for 2023? Have you considered taking a depth year, to focus on going deeper instead of going wider? I’d like to hear your thoughts—feel free to engage with me on Twitter, with me on Mastodon, or with me in any of the various Slack communities in which I participate (the Pulumi community Slack and the Kubernetes community Slack are two great options). Let me know what you think about taking a depth year!

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