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What is your learning budget?
The first thing you need to determine is how much time you are able to dedicate to studying. It is important to be able to set aside decent blocks of time for periods of intensive study. Ideally, these should be at least two hours in length, and I recommend trying to set aside time for at least five of these periods per week.
In order to stick to a learning schedule that includes consistent blocks of time, it needs to be realistic and needs to fit around your other commitments.
To determine how much time you realistically have available for these intense periods of study I advise first taking a pen and paper and writing down the time commitments you already have on a typical day, including weekends. Let’s say you have to work for 8 hours, you need to sleep (8 hours), you then need time for exercise, eating, household chores and family. Let’s say these take another 2 -3 hours. This might leave you with a daily learning budget of say 3–4 hours.
“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”, Stephen R. Covey
This 3–4 hour window, or whatever time remains in your personal learning budget, is your time for dedicated learning. This time should be used towards intense, focussed study or hands-on practical applications such as working on side projects.
It is extremely important to prioritise your learning time. The best way to do this is to create a commitment and stick to it. Add your daily dedicated learning time to your calendar as a recurring event.
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