Let’s start by saying, “It Depends.”.

I’m a software developer with Aphantasia and ADHD, so my approach is specific. This is my approach to learning. I’m certain your approach will differ.

Learning Principles

I’m a big fan of principles.

I follow these principles to guide my learning:

🚀 Embody Perseverance — Listen to audio content while driving, walking, and doing chores.
🏋️‍♂️ Instill Discipline - Apply lessons learned to projects.
🧠 Develop Intelligence - Create content to share lessons learned.
🔄 Establish Positive Habits — Add continous improvement to daily routines.

Learning Tools and Methods

I use these tools with these methods:

  • Apple Books - I listen to audiobooks & podcasts.
    • On ~1.5x speed to increase attention; for reasons.
    • In the shower, while driving, and exercising.
  • Anki - I use flashcards.
  • Structurizr - I create diagrams.
    • I don’t have a mind’s eye, so I need lines and boxes.
  • Canva — I create image posts to retain quotes and concepts.
  • Khan Academy, Class Central, edX – I take free courses.

Break Down Learning

I break my learning into discrete parts.

Example:

  1. Understand the:
    1. Discrete types of:
      1. Machine Learning.
        1. Supervised Learning.
        2. Unsupervised Learning.
    2. Neural Networks.
      1. Convolutional Neural Networks.
      2. Recurrent Neural Networks.
    3. Deep Learning.
      1. Deep Neural Networks.
      2. Deep Reinforcement Learning.
      3. Deep Learning for Natural Language Processing.
  2. Etc…

I create diagrams for each component whenever I try to understand something complex. This helps me see how everything fits together and makes it easier to grasp relationships.

After gathering all the necessary parts, I put them together to create a comprehensive Learn X article that includes links to each section.

Consider Tab Factor

When learning something new, I consider the tab factor. I ask myself, “How many tabs do I have open?”.

If I have too many tabs open, I’m probably not learning effectively. I need to break down the material into smaller chunks.

Rinse and Repeat

I repeat these processes habitually.

Shamelessly Take Shortcuts

I incorporate new macos shortcuts into my daily routine.

Create Quote & Thought Posts

I post condensed thoughts and quotes to social media feeds.

  1. I create a quote image in Canva.
  2. I use each hotkey while typing the quote.
    1. ⌥ [ — Left double quotation mark (“)
    2. ⌥ ⇧ [ — Right double quotation mark (”)
  3. Rinse, repeat

Create Blog Posts

I share what I’ve learned, ask questions about the material, and refine the content as-needed.

Create Visual Cues

I create cues to remind me to do things. I leave my guitar, weights, and other items in plain sight to remind me to practice.

Adhere To Incrementalism

Instead of making drastic changes, I make small changes over time. I add a new habit when it feels natural.

Apply Learning

Last but not least, I apply what I’ve learned to projects. I build practical tools and applications to reinforce learning.

My Aspirational Future State

As I strive for continuous improvement, I aim to incorporate the following:

  • Video - Create instructional videos.
  • Stories - Deliver stories to teach and inspire.

Conclusion

As a leader, a father, and a software developer, continuous improvement is a must. Learning, Earning, and Growing is a lifelong process with winding roads. I hope you find your pathway to effective learning. 🎯


Other Learning