Have you ever felt so reluctant to learn when you are exhausted from the whole day of work? Or, you find yourself difficult to just sit down and study during your free time. Dang, there is so much fun playing video games, hanging out with friends or sitting on the couch and watch some Netflix shows.
Oh well, I love those too. I mean who doesn't love them? Thanks to the dopamine in our body, these entertainments have never been so attractive. But, at the end of the day OR the weekends, we felt guilty for not doing anything productive.
THIS IS AN INIFINITE LOOP.
However, I am here to share why you should never stop learning regardless of your age from the view of a techie (which I believe most of us are).
Self-improvent is one of the keys to open up a whole new world and live a fulfilling life. It helps you to develop your career, and you never know when you are gonna need them. Being in a software industry is like rowing upstream, there is only dropping back if you are not advancing. By keep on learning, you will never fall behind especially when technologies are changing day by day.
How should we keep ourselves motivated to learn new things every single day?
Make the start as easy as possible
There is a quote from Leo Babata:
Make it so easy, you can't say no.
Start with something small.
Sometimes, it is hard to start by just imagining yourself sitting in front of the laptop for the whole day. If your brain feels the resistance, it will try to convince you not to do something that is uncomfortable. Therefore, we are gonna trick our brain a little bit. For example, tell yourself: today I am just gonna sit down and study for 20 minutes. Just 20 minutes. For this 20 minutes, you can just open up a 1 hour long tutorial video, and most likely you are gonna continue until you finish it. Do not push yourself at once with a 5 hours long tutorial video because your brain is gonna hate you for the betrayal. This is a life long habit and we should make it slow and gradually increasing overtime.
Use your morning hours
I have to say this might not suit everyone. The "prime-time" for studying varies for different types of people. I could draw the conclusion that I am a total morning person after years of experimenting. Sometimes I find it difficult to absorb knowledge especially being bombarded with information throughout the day. The brain might be filled with a lot of stuffs and this is why I think waking up with a fresh brain will be the better choice. Besides, there are always unexpected events happened during the night time like hanging out with friends, or just something that is not within our control. Therefore, I would choose my morning time to study because you are not so distracted by messages, notifications or other factors. Get yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and learn something. It is hard for you to not becoming a great person (or developer) by doing so daily. However, please stick to your own habits if you find midnight hours work better for you. For those who are not sure what kind of person you are, I would recommend to try out the morning routine.
Exercise is one of the things that make me feel even more motivated to improve myself. I chose to workout in some weekday evenings. For those days that I don't, I will still go for a short walk and listen to some tech or financial podcasts. I maintain at least 10,000 steps daily so that I could always keep my body awake. My mental state was really different when I did not exercise for some time. It is also good to pull yourself away from your computer so that you get to train the divergent thinking (and I have always figured out solutions when I was jogging, OR when I was sitting on the toilet).
Lastly, remember to give yourself a break. We always plan our study time with no break and rest, which might be one of the biggest cause that had our plans failing. Put in some rewards in between of the studies, so that there is always something to look forward to when you are struggling.
If you feel that you are over the age of learning new things, I hope you can reconsider that from the perspective of life-long learning and this is not the excuse of not improving yourself. You might wish that you were still in your 20's when you are over 30 years old but please remember that you will also think the same for your 30's when you are over 40 years old and the cycle goes on.
Do not let yourself live in the cycles of regretfulness. Make your future self proud of your present self. Pleasure comes through toil and there's no such thing as a free lunch.
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