General Tips for Self-Study (and a little help)

Got to be honest for a bit, I’ve often find myself procrastinating over coding and stuff even though I (finally) find passion in it. This is a bit hard to explain so please bear my English because for sure it’s going to be down to.

So first, I recently got out of the Algorithm Challenges in about 3 weeks (and planning it to go through all over again when I’m done gaining the right amount of info in MDN). I feel I am slow when it comes to this even though I should be taking the tests with I like to call PET (patience, effort, and time).

Second, I always find myself doing other things since… procrastination is such a pain to manage and it always overshadows my diligence to these things.

And lastly, FCC is the first coding community I am able to stay for the longest time and I want to continue that. Less hoping into stuff and more focus on one thing, that’s my objective for this year (yes, it’s a New Year resolution but I want to make it for a lifetime). Better be an expert on one thing than to be average at everything, I say.

OK, so what I am trying to say is I need some tips on self-studying.
I know there is putting practice into daily routine, joining communities, and practicing of skill above X time of reading, people have different ways of learning, finding the best study habit for myself but I still want to see others’ tips and opinion (even the ones that I just mentioned) so I can use it as sturdier foundation on how did the veterans over here became… well, veterans (and a dose of different perspective can help to me, sometimes). :grin:

EDIT: Beside, I think it is useful not only for my potential hobby/career/whatever-it-may-be, but on life in general. So please, I encourage you to speak out about this, it’ll be useful for everybody.

If anyone has been in a similar situation like mine, go ahead and narrate it here. It’ll be a very big help for me since I can’t really explain the how, and why of this thing. :cry:

Cheers. :grin:

EDIT: P.S. sorry for the wall of text over here, I just want to elaborate as much as I can so the discussion can be clear and again, bear with my clunky English for this one.

I also struggle with procrastinating. Also making excuses not do something, and the dreaded sit-down-to-do-it-and-keep-getting-distracted-and-waste-3-hours-without-really-doing-anything. These are the two things that I have found most effective for myself:

  1. Schedule it as early in the day as I can. I work full time and by the time I get home I’m tired and my brain is mushy and I just want to snuggle my dogs and watch Star Trek reruns. I find it so much easier to make excuses for myself to skip “just today” the later it is. Plus, sometimes I’m just tired and zone out.
  2. Have a dedicated work/study environment. If I’m sitting in my living room with those Star Trek reruns on, I’m going to get a fraction as much done. This is when I am most likely to sit down to “work” and end up not really focusing. When I was balancing a full-time job and full-time coursework I learned to make the most of what time I could grab to study by going to a library (some people like coffee shops, but I usually find them too distracting) for a specific amount of time and doing just work in that environment. I know that some people do this at home by creating an environment that is “work mode”. Our brains are really good at forming associations. One piece of advice given to insomniacs is to never do things like read or watch tv in bed, so that their brain learns to associate being in bed with nothing but sleeping.

It’s important at the beginning to accept you will be slow doing things. You might actually be so slow that you won’t notice yourself improving. That was what it was like for me and often I questioned whether what I was doing was worthwhile. This is why people say to just keep coding. Over time you will improve. The easiest sign that you are improving is how much your brain hurts. Seriously. If your head hurts after a few hours of coding you’re doing everything right.

I remember once I was debugging some simple code and it took me three hours to notice that I was missing a semicolon. THREE HOURS. I was going insane. But you keep going, and eventually you figure it out. I also remember when I was first trying to learn what closures were in JavaScript I fell asleep at my desk because my brain hurt so much.

Coding is really hard. You have to teach a whole new way to think about things. And it takes time. So never beat yourself up about it!

Good luck! :grin:

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That’s why you should use a linter. :stuck_out_tongue:


*seeing places being busy and noisy as hell except for that one empty lot that is quite the opposite and going to be built in the very near future*

Welp, trying to focus in my staying room, then. (Also, don’t have a laptop, yet… so there’s that other obstacle)

Our brain associate things through habit? Interesting… Now I’m considering to reduce (sooner or later, eliminate) those distracting habit.

Oh… So it’s like that saying of having pain after an exercise being noted as a sign of doing exercising right. I did not see that for the mind, I suppose it makes sense being mental exercise and all. :exploding_head:

And of course, the not so good days on simple spelling mistakes… on HTML… that I repeatedly looked over FOR HOURS, thinking I was correct that whole time. It is indeed simple (also got a massive headache and rage from that). Glad to see similar experiences first-hand.

Appreciated your perspective, guys! Really, I consider every sentence of it! Thanks a lot! :grin: