It is Friday morning. It is my learning day. I wake up. Get ready. And start learning. I enjoy learning new skills. This time I want to learn more about creating websites. My goal is to build a digital bullet journal prototype.

At least this was the plan. The last couple of Fridays I struggled with learning. I’m either lacking the energy, or I’m getting distracted easily, or I’m planning too much for the day.

This totally destroys the process of enjoying learning and reaching the goal I want.

Our personal struggles can make it difficult to enjoy learning. They can even keep us from learning in the first place.

So let’s deal with our struggles.

Name it. The first step in dealing with struggles is to define and name them. Write down your struggles. Become aware of them. It doesn’t help to include and implement a simple solution in your life only because it is fancy. It has to be helpful for your situation and struggle.

Mine are…

  • lack of energy.
  • difficulty focusing.
  • overwhelmed by taking on too much.

Keep the list short for now. Don’t take on too much. Concentrate on the top two or three struggles.

Small simple solutions. Now that we know what we mostly struggle with let’s look for small simple solutions. The solutions that helped me — after some research, tests, and iterations — are:

  • start for just 1 minute.
  • mental focus follows visual focus.
  • be a time pessimist.

Lack of energy. My small simple solution for this is to just start for 1 minute. Sometimes the beginning is the hardest part. It is easier for me to motivate myself to learn just for 1 minute than 1 hour. But after 1 minute, I often feel a rush of energy and I keep going.

Difficulty to focus. This simple solution is from the @hubermanlab . To focus mentally we can often use our vision; and focus visually first. Focus with your vision on a small area. Keep your visual focus. Create a visual cone. Your mental focus will follow and you won’t get distracted easily.

This is also why smartphones work so great. They restrict our vision to a very small area. Once our visual focus is set everybody around us gets annoyed because we don’t listen to them anymore. Like when my wife get’s annoyed with me.

Overwhelmed by taking on too much. To solve this struggle, I’m trying to be a time pessimist. Instead of being realistic about my time estimations, I am pessimistic. Instead of estimating 30 minutes — because the online tutorial is 30 minutes long — , I’ll estimate 2 hours. This way I take on less. I can focus properly without feeling overwhelmed. And let’s be honest — things always take way longer than we have planned.

These are my struggles and my attempts to deal with them. What are your struggles with learning and what are your small simple solutions?

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