Oleksii Fedorov

@oleksii_f

How to Find The Time to Learn a New Skill When You Are Working Full-Time?

Let me guess…

You want to learn a new programming language. Perhaps you want to learn a new design pattern.

Could it be that you are aching to write a blog post? Maybe you want to start that side project of yours.

You know you should be just doing it…

However, it seems like there is just not enough time. Moreover, you feel exhausted after every day full of work. So you want to spend what you have left with your family, or with your hobby.

You are telling your friend, how excited you are about this new fancy programming language. Just to immediately say that you just can’t find any time to practice it.

You keep blaming yourself for not managing your time well.

Stop right there! What is happening is much worse:

Regret. Resentment.

Let that sink in…

You are building up regretful feelings because you are not able to do what excites you.

You are building up resentment towards everybody whom you give all your time and energy.

Your employer. Your family. Your friends.

And yourself.

You know you need to do something about it. You know you do not want to resent people that are close to you. Just how? How can you find some time for yourself and work on what you have been yearning to accomplish?

There are some ways to accomplish that.

Classic: Carve an Hour or Two in The Evening and on The Weekend

That could work. Moreover, it worked for me well in the past.

Not everyone can do that though. So if I have only ninety minutes to spend with my children in the evening, can I take two-thirds out of that time?

I will probably feel guilty. My future self will not forgive myself for that.

Moreover, my closest family will not be happy about that decision.

You do Not Have to do That Every Day!

So what if there were these two days a week, e.g., Tuesday and Saturday, when I spend time working on my thing?

Moreover, everybody close to me, family and friends, are aware of that schedule and have accepted it?

That would get you somewhere. Moreover, if you stick well to that agenda, with small steps, you can attain the highest peaks of the mountains of your goals.

Journalist Way

What if you were always ready to work on that side project of yours?

What if it took only thirty seconds to get your laptop from the bag and boot up the computer with the integrated development environment already open and you can just continue working and contributing towards your goals. Be it learning Python or Kotlin, or building your side hustle.

Speaking of which.
I wanted to create a small tutorial for beginner programmers to learn Kotlin programming language and how to build a full-fledged command-line application with it.
I overdid it a bit, to be honest with you.
In just four days, I have got this fantastic eighty-page hands-on tutorial out of the door that will knock your socks off.
Interested?
To learn Kotlin, head over to and download that PDF https://iwillteachyoukotlin.com

Is it some downtime on the train?

Like fifteen minutes?

Take your laptop and start coding. Or watching a tutorial video. Or reading a book or tutorial. Whatever brings you closer to your goal.

Do you have left-over twenty-five minutes after you have finished your lunch?

Same!

However, word of caution follows:

That is one of the most challenging methods regarding getting into it. That happens because it takes time and energy to do the sudden context switch.

Thankfully, if you do that like a month almost every day, then your brain will accustom and will be able to restore the context of your side hustle much quicker.

For example, when I started using that method, it took probably 15–20 minutes to get back into the side project of mine.

What about now? I need only a few seconds to remember where I left off and to continue.

It takes practice.

And it is tough — I do not want to make it seem easy for you :)

Let me tell you the truth though, the best method I know today is:

You need to give yourself first

You need to give yourself first before giving anything to someone else. That is a sure proof way to avoid regret and resentment.

You do not want to give your employer your most productive hours of the day — early in the morning. Instead, give them to yourself!

So next day wake up one hour earlier.

Yeah. You have heard me right. Wake up one hour earlier and spend that most productive and creative time on what matters to you. That way you will be able to “give it your all” in other parts of your life, such as work and family because there is no regret anymore.

Every single day, when you are at work, you have already accomplished something important for yourself. You do not need to worry about managing your time anymore. You can give your employer what you must now. You can give your family what you must and want after work too.

Make it a habit. Your future self will thank you.

Oh, by the way, I am right now writing this same article, and my watch says it is 5:43 AM here. I often write like that.

Other days, I am working on my side project, where I am practicing my coding and design skills.

The feeling of resentment and regret is long gone.

That gave me the freedom to spend evenings with my family, do my hobby, attend meet-ups, and meet with my friends. That gave me the freedom to work for my employer productively and be happy about that.

So you can gain this freedom too.

I genuinely thank you for reading, and I encourage you to try this method out and tell me how is it working for you in the comments section. If you liked this article, please share it with your friends, on social networks, hacker news, Reddit, etc.

Your personal development and future are in your hands.

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