For a very long time I used to be what I considered a big reader. I wouldn’t be doing a book every two day or whatever those ridiculous numbers are anytime you read about another billionaire. Nonetheless I’d still read a book every two weeks or so.
Now however, I realized that I haven’t read a single book over the last year. Even the brilliant ‘Value Proposition Design’ took me 8x as much time as it was supposed to.
I have learned a whole new approach to programming, new environments, two programming languages, Spanish at a basic level and much more though without reading a single book. Why? Because there’s a more efficient way.
It was the sci-fi and the popular science books that were gone first. It was easier to listen to audio books and it was much much quicker. I would listen to another book by Harris, Dawkins or Hitchens on my way to the office. That kept me saturated. My efficiency had gone up and I could see it. Then I discovered the world of online learning.
Frankly, the concept of consuming information and acquiring new skills through the screen wasn’t new to me. I was probably 18 when my friend handed me a USB stick with a recording of a workshop that would teach me one of the most important things I know about human psychology.
It was the undeniable efficiency of learning new things ever so easy that stuck with me. I first started using Coursera to learn about Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life. Wow, how fascinating that was! Now I spend a good chunk of my day watching paid video courses.
I rarely pay for any piece of software. I’ve only recently started paying $8/mo for my IDE and that’s literally the tool that makes my living. However I often flesh out my dear $15 to buy another online course. As a matter of fact, I have recently paid $75 dollars for 5 courses that amass 25 hours of content.
I’m now taking courses on UI design, maximizing one’s learning, UX engineering, outsourcing ideas, Python, Machine Learning, starting companies and the history of Ireland. They’ve got anything you want to learn about. Hell, they even have a course on Google power searching and if you can’t find an online learning platform then you need to take it.
If I haven’t managed to get my point across by now, go and take an online video course now. This will make you a better professional, a more interesting person and help you get more successful. Embrace the learning!