I used to read a lot, when i wanted to try something new i used to learn everything about it before even starting, result: i got bored on the process and just forget about it or i discovered something similar and then i wanted to learn about that as well… so i never started anything….
So with smart donations i did something different, i picked a book and read just enough to know what i can or cannot do, that means reading just a few paragraphs of each topic, skipping uninteresting chapters and totally avoid doing the exercises (as painful as that might sound).
Following this approach i was able to start coding after around 5 hours of reading, yes the coding was slower because i had to go back to the book in many occasions but every time i went back to that book i went back with more energy and more willing to learn, because instead of reading just for the sake of learning, i was reading something that i was going to apply immediately i was putting special attention to the chapter because i knew i was going to use it and i wanted to make it right. Result: i have a pretty good (in my opinion) plugin and i have a solid knowledge of WordPress.
This has been working for me so far and it might work for you as well, so the next time you are going to start reading a new book, i recommend you to do this:
- Make sure you need that knowledge NOW: If you read something that you “might” need chances are that you will never need it or you will forget it before you really need it.
- Focus only on the chapters that you need: If you are going to do a basic calculator you don’t need to read the geolocation chapter right?.
- Don’t do the exercises: You already have to do a lot of code, you don’t need more.
- Get only the essence of the chapter: don’t read it all, unless you KNOW you need it.
- Keep the book handy until you feel comfortable without it: Go back to the book when you need it, also use Google, it is a great tool for learning.
At this point you might be thinking, yes i will read less but i won’t learn more, but seriously, a knowledge that you don’t not apply is a knowledge that you are going to forget… fast. And i am talking about applying it in something meaningful for you, not only exercises, if you can only apply it in exercises, why you want to learn it in the first place?