Andy
Andy DevOps professional. Always Learning. The Odin Project core team. Marathon Runner, Coffee Drinker, Day Hiker.

Finding Time

I get it. We’re all busy people. Working, commuting, eating, sleeping, relaxing, seeing friends and family, or having fun; they all take time. Where does learning to code fit into all of this?

It doesn’t.

Wait… what?

You can’t find time to learn something new. You make time. Without specifically scheduling time each day to learn, the odds of you sitting down and learning to code are as good as finding $50 on the ground.

Specifically, you can do these three things to increase your odds.

The first step is to plan your life. Do you work from 9–5 everyday? Great! That’s the first step to planning your life. Add it to your calendar. Oh.. you don’t have a calendar? Let me remind you that Google Calendar is simple to use and syncs across pretty much every platform there is. It’s also capable of scheduling repeated events. If you’re more of the pen-0n-paper kind of organizer, I recommend Passion Planner. I’ve been using one for several years now and it’s become my lifeline for all things important. Nice binding, quality pages, great goal planning.

Now — what else do you have going on? Bar League Hockey every Tuesday from 7–10? Add it to the calendar. The sooner you can set a schedule for your life, the better your learning will be.

As you fill in your calendar you will start to notice openings. These are the times you need to reserve for learning. Aim for at least 30 minutes each day, an hour per day on weekends.

Secondly, find a place that’s conducive to learning. Everyone is different. Maybe you learn best at a coffee shop with soft music playing. Maybe you need silence. Whatever you need, find it. Get away from distractions.

Lastly, be engaged throughout the day. Learning doesn’t have to happen only during the half hour per day you schedule. When you are stuck in traffic try to remember what you learned during the previous lesson. What new commands did you learn? What’s the syntax? (Did you forget the semicolon?) Maybe you can picture a website you visited that day in your mind and imagine how you would recreate the structure using HTML and CSS. Or when faced with a problem at work think about how a programmer would solve the issue. For example — at your job you have to repeat a procedure multiple times. How would you write a ruby script to tell you how many of each item you need if you process x samples per day? Being actively engaged throughout the day is the best way to learn without being at a computer. It may also give you inspirations for future projects.

Remember — a little time each day leads to a lifetime of success