Constant Improvement

I’m a believer of lifelong learning… However, I’ve also been a lifelong procrastinator. I know… right?! Recently though, I have finished a course on Coursera titled “Learning How to Learn”… it’s one of those rare exceptions when I actually start a course and follow it through to the end. I have only done this twice, I think… but have enrolled in more than 10 online courses. Here’s my list of ongoing courses so far…

  • Intermediate Mandarin
  • JavaScript (on Codecademy) – around 70%
  • Learn Sass (on Codecademy) – around 33%
  • Body Matters (on EdX) – 10%
  • Blockchain Technology – just started
  • and many others which I have enrolled in but never even started.

At one point, I hope to be able to finish at least a few of these courses… I know I have quite a long way to go but I have realized that at least for ‘coding’ courses, I only need a jump start introduction and I learn better as I apply it in practice, so I probably wouldn’t go back to the JavaScript or Sass course anytime soon… One thing I find fascinating is language learning. I have had quite a bit of Mandarin during primary/secondary school so I feel like I just need to brush up on it or build my vocabulary as I understand sentence structure and am able to understand almost 50% of a sentence. Am also trying to learn Japanese but feel like I need a speaking partner to fully grasp it.

Another thing I could improve on is my exercise… it has dropped off quite a bit from last year when I used to go to the gym at least 3x a week to only once or none a week for the past few months. The drop-off is attributed mostly to the distance of my gym… I have to drive there and my only real window to get there is between 7 to 8pm which is usually reserved for family time.. my wife used to come to the gym with me which helped me last year but she hasn’t gone in a year now so I’m constantly just trying to find the time during the day, usually lunch hour when I could get a run in if it isn’t raining… so it isn’t for a lack of motivation as I do love exercising.

Enough of the rambling and on to my recommendations for learning while going through life as a dad and a full-time employee. Here’s what helped me stay the path:

  • I can’t recommend enough the “Learning How to Learn” course on Coursera… it sheds light on how to overcome procrastination, how to train your memory, and basically how you learn new things more efficiently.
  • Audiobooks. If you can’t find time to read, then you have no excuse when it comes to audio… you can listen on the car while commuting to/from work (my preferred method), lunch breaks, snack breaks, etc.
  • Join a group study (or find a learning buddy). Set a regular time/day to meet up and discuss.

If you have any ideas, do send them my way as I’m always on the lookout for new ways to learn.


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