At the end of 2020, I've decided to make 2021 a challenging year. I have committed to doing 12 monthly challenges, one for each month. You can see the list of all the challenges here. Below is a summary of the September challenge.
Challenge: One hour of learning every day.
Why: When life gets busy, learning suffers. Unless you specifically make time for it. I want to never stop learning in my life, so I'm making time for it.
For the challenge, I have decided to learn web3. I've been learning it previously in a less structured way, and it seemed an excellent opportunity to learn more, better, faster.
Challenge completion rate: 100% (30 out of 30)
At the end of each day, I recorded if I had completed the challenge for the day. I also rated how much effort it took on a scale of 1 to 10. While it's subjective, it gives an idea of how hard it was to complete the challenge.
Average effort score: 6.23
Lowest effort score for the month: 10 (3 times)
Highest effort score for the month: 3 (4 times)
The summary could be very short: "I loved it!"
I loved it so much that I've never stopped this challenge. It's been 230+ days since I started, and I have not missed a day. It has become an integral part of my life, and I intend to keep it that way.
Since I've already had not 30 but 230 days to optimize the process, I believe it is now a well-oiled, efficient machine. In the first 30 days, there were three instances of 10 on the effort scale. Without exception, all of those instances were when I left the learning for last. Sometimes, I had to start learning at 3 am, 4 am, or even 5 am. It's not easy to be focused at such an hour. Fighting with fatigue, sleepiness and brain fog = effort 10.
I now never leave learning for last. I do it first thing in the morning. Or almost first, if there's something urgent. Once I'm done with it, whatever happens next, I have at least one hour of learning for the day. If I have more time later in the day, I may learn more, but I don't have to worry that I'll need to spend an hour late into the night or even morning.
What's another reason for not stopping? Remember all the quotes similar to: "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the short term and underestimate the change that will occur in the long term."? That's all true. I often felt frustrated at the end of sessions because I felt that I made very little progress, or even none at all, for example, when fighting with a bug for a full hour and not being able to fix it. But whenever I looked back and tried to estimate how much I did in a week, a month, or two—I was always amazed. And all this is on top of all my other work and responsibilities! It's a great, motivating feeling, and it only gets stronger with time and with a growing body of work.
I will. I am. And I hope I will never stop. I may change the subject of learning if/when I feel that I've hit diminishing returns with learning web3, but I want to keep learning indefinitely. And I'm still very far from feeling that the returns are diminishing—quite the opposite.
Challenge: 7-minute daily hanging (not seven consecutive minutes, but seven minutes total in a day).
Why: I've found this challenge somewhere, and I immediately liked it. It's crazy enough and, at the same time, has enough health benefits (shoulders, grip strength, spine decompression, joints, ligaments), making it a perfect candidate for a monthly challenge.