1. Know Your Purpose
2. Create Structured Learning Time
It’s also ideal to schedule your learning to happen at the optimal time. Whether due to biological factors or your work routine, everyone has times of the day — and even days of the week — that work best for studying. Try to identify these golden hours when creating your study schedule.
3. Set Goals
4. Study in Peace
You’ll learn best if you aren’t interrupted. Find a quiet room in which to study, turn off your phone, and don a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Tell your roommates and family that you’re studying and need some time to yourself. If your household is very noisy, consider going to a local library, cafe, or even park to study. Studying in different places also helps keep the process interesting.
5. Use Your Preferred Resources
Whichever media you choose to learn from, focus on one at a time before moving on to the next. Doing so will help you stay focused and better absorb the information.
6. Choose Progressively Harder Learning Material
Think about how you learned your native language. You started by listening to other people talk, practiced by babbling, and eventually spoke simple phrases. It was years before anyone expected you to say or write anything cohesive.
Of course, you’re much smarter now than you were as a baby, so you can handle tougher challenges. However, you should follow a similar process to the one you used to learn your native tongue — start small, do a lot of listening and watching other people first, and forgive yourself for making mistakes.
7. Practice Writing Code
Once you’ve learned the fundamentals, the best way to learn to code is to start doing it. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and get a job as a programmer — not yet, anyway. Just start building projects for the sake of learning.
At first, you may need to use tutorials to guide you. Eventually, however, you should take the training wheels off and start writing code on your own. It’s a great way to see how much of the learning material you remember and which sections you might need to revisit.
Start by building easy projects like a quote generator or rock, paper, scissors app. Then, move on to intermediate projects like building a local weather app or calculator. Finally, move on to something difficult and full-stack — something that has a front end, back end, and database — like a real-time messaging app.
8. Solve Programming Challenges
For example, edabit.com offers programming obstacles that let you hone particular skills related to coding. It lets you select a programming language you want to work on, choose a skill level ranging from very easy to expert, and then pick a specific skill you want to hone. It’s a great way to focus on and improve any areas you’re struggling with.
9. Join Online Communities
10. Find a Mentor
Look for a mentor online or in person. Meet up regularly to discuss your progress and ask questions about anything you’re stuck on.
11. Expect Learning Plateaus
Learning from a book or online course lets you see very obvious progress in the form of page numbers or quiz scores. If that’s all you’ve been doing up to this point and you’ve just started coding on your own, it can feel very frustrating.
However, these moments — although they may seem unproductive — are a crucial part of the learning experience. Your brain is formulating new connections and working through problems. Let go of the idea that you need to see constant progress and just try to enjoy the process.
12. Celebrate Your Milestones
When you do finish a book or design your first app, reward yourself! You put in a lot of effort to get there. Go out to eat, listen to your favorite playlist, or even take a day off from studying. Celebrating your achievements will motivate you to continue the learning process.