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One of the most important and difficult aspects of learning any new skill, like coding, is to be able to stay motivated throughout the whole learning journey so today, we are introducing 5 tips that can help you keep that initial motivation.
We've all been there: you are trying to learn some new skill and you pour your heart and soul out into the task only to eventually hit what feels like an enormous roadblock that mentally drains you, to the point where your motivation levels hit rock bottom and you feel like quitting.
Learning something new is challenging by itself, and coding is absolutely no exception. If you are having a hard time staying motivated while learning to code, know that you are not alone. In the end, motivation can only come from within, but a few tips can help you sway the scale the right way and help you achieve your dream of making it into the developer industry.
Let's start with the tips!
Tip #1 - Practise what you have learned
You may be moving too quickly through the lessons or tutorials that you are taking and not dedicating enough time to apply those concepts and getting your hands dirty by building something. Spending time with a new concept is important so you can retain what you've learned and apply it as you move along to more advanced concepts.
The same happens when you are learning a new language. At the moment I'm trying to learn Swedish, and although repetitive, I go over the basics regularly, as they will lay the foundation for me to eventually be fluent in the language, sometime in the future.
So remember, practice makes fluent.
Tip #2 - Don't forget what you've already accomplished
When you get stuck on learning a new concept or it gets too intense that it eventually overwhelms you, it can also be frustrating, and your mind starts to wander and think about the long road that you still have ahead.
If this happens, just remind yourself of how far you've come. Take a look at what you've already built along this journey and at all the challenges you have already overcome. Look at it from a standpoint of "look at how far I've come" instead of "look at how far I still have to go".
Tip #3 - Keep your eye on the prize
This may sound like a given, but you'd be surprised with the number of people that lose track of their goals and are never able to get it back.
On those dark days of having no appetite for learning, take a step back, a deep breath, and try to remind yourself of the goal you had when you first decided to embark on this long journey. What motivated you then?
If you have yet not established a goal, time to one and to stick with it!
Tip #4 - Baby steps, consistently
Now, initially, it might seem right to you to spend the most amount of time possible learning to code. But too long of a session can actually hurt in you the long run.
You might start to get frustrated by not being able to make time during the day to take a lesson, or even the other way around, you might feel that this learning process is taking too much of your day away, and you start attributing a negative connotation to the process!
A strategy is to set a timer for a small achievable goal. Set it for 10/15/30 minutes, whatever feels right for you.
Then, if you feel that you are on a roll and that today is your day, just extend your coding past that time until you finish your awesome new feature. If not, when the timer goes off, just called it a day and gather your strengths for tomorrow.
Tip #5 - Take breaks, regularly
Most times when we are feeling stuck or overwhelmed, the easiest solution of all time, is to take a break.
Get your mind off of the current task and dedicate your efforts to something else you enjoy. Read a book, listen to your favorite track or latest podcast episode, or go for a walk with your dogs. After a while, you will feel reinvigorated and with a killer mindset for problem-solving! And just like magic, your task got a lot easier, and your body thanks you for that relaxation period.
And those were the 5 tips that you can and should follow the next time you're feeling stuck or a bit overwhelmed by the learning process or tasks at hand to find the motivation needed to plow through and towards your goals and dreams.
Keep your eye on the prize! 🏆
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