12 Week Learning Sprint

That hacker news thread I mentioned in my last post really got me thinking again about how to learn the right way. I feel like I haven’t learnt a completely new ability in a very long time. If I think about how much joy learning Mandarin has brought me over the last decade, it seems like a similar project would be worth pursuing.

What’s been at least as much fun for me as actually learning the language has been to think about how to best spend my time studying, so I thought it might be fun to start with a relatively short timeframe and try to get as far in a new skill as I can. Three months seems like a good amount of time. Before the three months start, I’m planning to spend time thinking (and blogging) about ways and methods and once it ends, I’ll see where I got and if it would be fun to continue learning. Since I’m starting a new job in the beginning of August, I’m aiming for early September as the start date for my sprint by which time I’ll hopefully have settled in.

That’s still some time to plan but right now, the skill that excites me the most and would have a lot of practical use in other projects is learning how to draw. Drawing won out narrowly against learning to play the piano but drawing is something I have absolutely no prior experience with which is perfect for this sprint. It’s also something that seems to me to be mostly about internalising through practice rather than intellectual understanding. This is interesting and new for me.

I have bought some books in preparation. I’ll write another post soon to take stock and do some initial planning, maybe before I fly back to London on Wednesday.