Learn Something New

December 30, 2012


tl;dr - If your resolution is to learn X in 15 minutes a day, you will fail. If you want to learn something new, immerse yourself in it.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and countless resolutions are being made today, only to be broken within the week. A common resolution is Learn Something New, and a common approach is to set aside 15 minutes a day for learning.

“15 minutes will be easy to find”, we rationalize. “I spend hours checking Facebook, watching TV, playing Angry Birds. Surely I can find 15 minutes to improve myself and become more fulfilled, more well-rounded, or more employable?”

This approach is misguided. Complete bullshit. You can’t learn anything substantial in 15 minutes a day. Not only that, but it takes an enormous amount of discipline to do anything for 15 minutes a day, every day. You are setting yourself up for failure.

A better approach:

Think back to when you learned to ride a bike, or beat a video game. Think about when you got completely addicted to some TV show, learned all about the plot and characters, and scoured the Internet looking for next season’s plot spoilers. Model your learning after that.

Immerse yourself. Follow rabbit holes. Have fun. Spend hours. Skip meals. Don’t lesson plan. Just be curious. The learning will follow.

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