There is no way around this one, if you want to improve, you have to put in the effort and time. Having said that, my idea if what is studying has definitely evolved over the years. I now find ways to get around 3 hours a day of studying where I used to struggle with 30 minutes, The fundamental change is what I regard as studying. Studying for me used to mean solely getting through a video tutorial or technical textbook.
While this might work for some and they may be able to crank out 4 hours a day of this, I simply was not able to be consistent with this type of study. There had to be a better way to get relevant info into my daily routine…
Just like going to the gym you need to shake things up to keep them entertaining. Otherwise, you’re going to struggle to remain consistent, the same thing with a diet. There had to be other ways?
Here is my daily schedule of how I get 3 hours a day studying…
I spend around 1.5 hours a day listening to audio content
Usually technical podcast. This was an absolute revolution and just wish I had started a lot earlier. I was getting through topics I had only dreamed of studying. See this post for my top software testing podcasts. The listening is done to and from work.
I’ve also recently started listening to full audiobooks using a service called ‘Audible’. There is not a large library of technical books but there are many good books written by programmers which cover other software related topics.
40 mins to an hour of actual sit down studying using video tutorials
It may not seem like a lot but if done consistently it is more than enough time to power through a course of plural-sight for example. Full programming courses can normally be covered within a few hours. The key here is consistency. even if you only get 30 mins in. My go-to site for technical video content is Plurasight.
30-40 mins a night of reading
I may read a book that is complementing the sit down studying I am doing. But sometimes I tend to pick a less technical book. Less technical? there are books that focus on the theory of software design and implementation. These can sometimes be eye-opening reads that don’t require memorisation or end of chapter challenges. They can provide a welcome break from technical topics, but get you to think more and do less.
To round all this off I would probably spend 30-40 mins every few nights writing for my blog. This is an absolutely excellent way to consolidate all the information.