My Progress Enigma

I think probably my whole life I’ve been studying and trying to figure out how I learn and howto most effectively stick to and commit something I want to learn. I am not sure I am actually any closer to knowing even now.

I have started this thing where I start an hour timer for a specific thing. Like reading my PowerShell book or going through the node.js course. As soon as the hour is up, even if I want to keep going, I have to stop right there. This is to prevent doing one thing too much and losing interest. It’s also the support the idea of doing at least a little of something everyday over a long period of time is better than doing a lot of something then stopping after 5 weeks.

So right now, at the current moment, I have this physical wall calendar – the kind that’s 4 feet by 2 feet or whatever – hanging on my wall. And everyday I mark off the things I did that do that I wanted to do regularly into the future. Working this blog and making even a small amount of progress on reading that PowerShell book are the two big ones right now. I check those two things off for the day when I know I’ve done them. Even if it’s just a small amount of either I still check it off. I am also trying to get in as many walks as I can right now before it gets too hot. I’ve only got maybe 5 or 6 weeks left for that but at least it isn’t project to rain for the next week or two.

Sorry. Small digression. I don’t know where this latest approach is leading or if it will turn out to be any more successful than any of the prior approaches. But am fairly certain this regular scheduled routine is making me feel better and do better in other areas of my life.

I have also noticed I don’t always do well if I am concentrating too much on the finish line. For instance that node.js video course is stated to be 20+ hours of lectures. That’s just to watch the lectures though. Taking notices, doing exercises and working on my own to truly comprehend what’s happening means it would take me two or three times as long to complete this course. If I concentrate on that too much it’s difficult to even get started. So instead I try to just concentrate on today. That way I won’t be discouraged by the progress bar that doesn’t seem to ever move because who cares if it moved or not – I did the one thing today.

Which loops back around the hour timer thing. Of course alongside the hour timer theory is the “watching less TV” theory and the “video games are that good anyway” theory. I mean I gotta take breaks sometimes. And when I miss a day I really feel like I’ve fallen behind. Which makes me want to catch up. Which makes me study until my eyes are watering so much they start to ache.

The above is part of thing that happened to me right after high school: I decided I was going to learn C programming. Ya, I was really exciting 18 year old. Anyway I wanted to make it through this programming book and was determined to make it through a chapter a day until I finished. But I was entirely too discourage by falling behind. Probably spent as much time re-calculating when I would be done as I did doing actual C programming.

Then 20 years later here I am trying to make it through a PowerShell book and pretty much doing the same thing: must make it one chapter a day and April 10th means I’m on chapter 10. Although I’m finally starting to accept this probably isn’t necessarily realistic or rational. I mean I might want to stop to an episode of Star Trek and that might mean I’m further behind than the day-to-chapter ratio. But I think I can teach myself to be okay with that.

This post turned out more “stream of consciousness” than “enigmatic”. That’s okay though, I think I like it the way it is.

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