There are a few things that keep you young and healthy. The obvious ones are exercise and diet. The not so obvious one is the pursuit of knowledge. I enjoy figuring things out. To solve problems of increasing complexity you need to learn new options. If you are repeating a process, you should consider how to improve that process. There are so many books, blogs, and sites that can teach you anything you want. However, very few teach you how to learn. Keep in mind, you may learn differently from me.
Learning a new technology is very vague. What does that even mean? Are you learning a new syntax, a new language, library, framework, process, hardware, etc… The best way I have learned something is by using for a project. I love when someone says, “I need to learn blockchain”. I ask, “why? “. Most don’t have answer. This was true for react, angular, iot, machine learning, ai, embedded devices, etc… If you don’t have a reason to learn it, you’ll do a hello world project at best and forget everything a week later.
Give yourself a reason
That will drive you to completion and retention of the information.
You will learn more than just a hello world project also. It is important, imperative that you know why you are learning something new.
Set a deadline
No one likes deadline but tasks without deadlines are just dreams. Delivery is key. You can set your deadline to be a month, or even a year. I wouldn’t go longer than a year though. If it is over a day, you need the next part.
Set a schedule
If it is only 15 minutes a day, that is enough. Ideally, if you are doing only 15 minutes a day, I would stop that and do one hour every four days. Context switching is very difficult for learning. Retention through repetition is key.
One thing I have almost always seen when people are creating a new application, site, project for learning, they get to a point where they feel they have learned enough and abandon the project. Finish, make it live somewhere.
There are a lot of options, heroku, azure, github, Firebase, etc… Make it live! Write documentation, deploy it.
Revisit a month later
Go back and look at what you did a month later. Figure out what you could improve. Have your own retrospective. You will have learned more and know something better.
Want it to stick -do it again
Yes, start over and do that process again. You’ll improve your process, your speed of delivery, and make a better version.
Those are some basic tips to get you started learning new things. I’ll have more soon.
Go build something amazing!