Thursday, July 02, 2009

A Learning Plan

I realize it’s hard to find time to study with work pushing at you all the time and with family pulling on you after that, but you’ve gotta try to find some time or you’ll get left behind.

I’m certainly not perfect, but I am pretty good at making time every day to study something.  It’s not that hard really.  Just take 15mins out of your lunch break.  Or take 15mins at the end of the work day before you leave, or in the morning before you get started.  I used to spend the first 30mins every day going through newsletters, or reading a few pages in a book and going through an example.  It’s slow going to just do 15mins a day, but at the end of a month you’re further along than you would be had you not done anything at all.  Slow going is better than no going.

And I’ve interviewed guys before who were just pathetic.  You could tell that they hadn’t bothered learning anything new in a long time and even what they knew wasn’t all that.  And once I even got the opportunity to interview the same guy again like 2-3yrs later and you know what… he hadn’t changed a bit.  I don’t think he’d picked up a book in all that time.  And there’s just no excuse for not learning more these days.  There are so many free resources it’s staggering.  There are free sites with plenty of tech articles, there are free video sites, there are newsletters, forums, etc.  There’s just no excuse.

So really, don’t get left behind.  Dedicate yourself to 15mins a day.  Make it the same time every day.  It’s only hard to get started.  Once you’ve got the habit you’ll begin to love making even slow progress. 

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Sean McCown
I am a Contributing Editor for InfoWorld Magazine, and a frequent contributor to as well as I live with my wife and 3 kids, and have practiced and taught Kenpo for 22yrs now.
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