A friend and colleague recently asked me how I choose side projects. I wasn't quite sure how to answer this, because I never thought too much about what I should do as a side thing. It's always been more about what I want to do.
My recent project, a custom LED installation controlled through a Raspberry Pi (later an ESP8266), was brought to life because I wanted to learn about the producer side of APIs, how I would make controls available internally and on a public network, how to make it discoverable and document it. Things that I don't essentially need on my day job (a Program Manager on Developer Relations at Postman), but that would help me a lot with understanding challenges.
That's how I learn.
The other part to it, the soldering, woodworking, breadboarding - that's a welcome alternation to working in front of a computer screen. And it emphasises how I emotionally attach to the actual learning and thus increases my productivity.
What about you? How do you learn best?