After finishing the recent Next.js portfolio series, I wanted to write a series on my way of step-by-step learning.
It's nothing new, but I found a significant advantage of this specific method.
So in this article, I want to take some time to explain the process and how it works.
Decide on a topic
The very first thing you will want to do is pick a topic. This is the most crucial part. And to be honest, sometimes even the most challenging part.
Your topic choice can come from many different sides. Here are some examples.
- You noted you are missing some specific skill
- You have an interest in a new language
- You want to learn some new process
- You want to revisit the basics of something
And the list goes on. As you can tell, it's often a broad topic at this point.
To make them even more precise, here are some examples of topics I worked on.
- Break down ES6 functions as they were new to me
- Look into Flutter
- What is accessibility
- Revisit the basics of React
- How can someone create a portfolio from scratch
Break it down
Once you have your topic, it's excellent to start diving a little bit deeper and breaking the topic down into small achievable tasks.
This part is crucial to your result, as you want to make them small but rewarding.
It's also important to note that during this breakdown period, there is a lot of back and forth. I mean that you will find new intel after some days, making you realize you must add some more steps to achieve the goal.
If you are wondering how small you should break things down, I'll leave that up to you. It's very dependent on the person as to how much time one can dedicate to each task.
I love to make them as small as possible, not because I'm lazy, but because it forces me to explore all aspects of that super tiny piece.
Once you have your broken-down tasks, you can finally explore them individually.
It works best for me to set a recurring time, meaning I will do one of these super tiny steps every day. For you, it might be every other day or even half an hour a day.
The importance is to pick a time frame that you can commit to.
When executing your tasks, the most important thing is to keep track of the overall process.
- Did you identify new tasks you need to explore?
- Is it helping you achieve the main topic?
Or perhaps you'll have to go to the next point?
Take a break
At some stage, it might be good to take a break.
Look back at how far you've already come in this series, and appreciate that! You have done a lot of work already, and it might be good to step away from this for a couple of days.
This will give you time to let everything sink and come back to it with a clear mind.
Once you come back, it's great to first look at a very high level at the things you've done so far and if they make sense, have any gaps, and so on.
Once that is done, try to write down some new tasks you'll be working on. And the process continues from here.
Step-by-step learning is nothing new, but for me, it's simply the best way to learn things.
It's great for those with limited time, focus, or motivation. As it will force you to break things down and keep them manageable.
Are you using this method? Please do feel free to share your experience with it.