Repetitive reinforced learning is the best way to improve at something
The internet is filled with blog posts explaining how an individual/organisation can improve their ability at accomplishing Whatever activity, learning Suchandsuch skill, speaking Thingymabob language…
Hell, even I write these. The internet exists so that opinionated people can tell others how they should be living their lives. Well, the internet doesn’t only exist for that, of course there’s also the pornography, but nevertheless the infliction of advice and “How To Learn Stuff” is commonplace.
Whilst I doubt I’ll ever stop perusing these sorts of article, I’ve come to a very simple conclusion: The only way to get better at something is to do it more. All the tips and life hacks out there are just subsets and paraphrases of a very simple concept, if you want to improve on something you aren’t very good at, or plain just don’t know how to do; do it more. Start a side-project (or start a main-project), work on something during your lunch break, volunteer to help a friend, it doesn’t matter, anything is good. Direct exposure to the activity or skill in question is all we’re looking for. Do it, do it a lot, then do it more.
When migrating my website framework of choice from Webforms to MVC, I didn’t know where to start. So I rebuilt drewrobey.com. Then I rebuilt another website. Then another…then another…then another…
That was several years ago, and I look back at my reticence to adopt MVC whilst smiling to myself. Hindsight may well be 20:20, but now I’m in so far I cannot clearly recall exactly what I was struggling with at the start.
The old sayings are the best; they wouldn’t have persisted if they weren’t. You can keep your quick wins, your mind hacks, your secret techniques…the only advice anyone ever needs when learning a new skill is very simple indeed; practice makes perfect. And it always will do.