Programmer and blogger Jeff Atwood highlights the distinction between everyday work and actually practicing your craft to improve your skills, quoting Googler Steve Yegge:
Contrary to what you might believe, merely doing your job every day doesn’t qualify as real practice. Going to meetings isn’t practicing your people skills, and replying to mail isn’t practicing your typing. You have to set aside some time once in a while and do focused practice in order to get better at something.
While Atwood’s post focuses around computer programming skills, the overall gist is applicable to any profession: In order to improve, you need to practice your craft outside of your daily comfort zone. Looking at the difference between building your skills and simply doing your everyday work, we’re curious: do you practice your craft, or do you simply work? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.