Module 03:

Lesson 6: Practice what you’ve learned

Congratulations, you’re a responsible internet user now!

You’re no longer refreshing like a madman to see new photos of dogs (or cats) and you’re careless of what’s next on Netflix.

You use the time you have in front of your screen to read articles and to watch videos that will help you advance in your career, start your own business, or simply help you master a hobby.

But don’t start bragging about it just yet.

The final lesson is the most important one.

Remember the boxes we added on your daily calendar for learning?

You need to use part of this time for practicing.

As you can’t lose weight if you only read articles about weight loss, you also can’t learn how to code if you only watch videos about designing websites – you actually need to try designing a website yourself.

Once you have notes from other sites, it’s time to implement what you’ve learned.

Sadly, this step often gets neglected. People read an article about how to add animation to the navigation with blurring menu items – or simply how to play guitar – but they don’t do anything with this new piece of content. Which, of course, means that the time you have spent learning/reading was wasted.

Don’t do that.

Taking action on your notes my muchacho, is the best way to learn.

That’s why we had homework when we were in school – to practice what we’ve learned.

“But I’m still not ready to write code or to play an instrument?”

You are.

You added notes above, right?

You highlighted passages from articles and you wrote down the most important things? Now, use what you wrote down as inspiration to create something yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Hell, it even doesn’t have to be good! The idea is to start creating.

Even if you never played a guitar, even if you never add brackets on a black screen, the act of practicing clarifies your thinking and makes you aware of holes in your abilities.

Taking action on what you’ve learned is the secret sauce of success in any field.

There’s a gap between your present self and your desired future self. The only way to close the gap is by practicing.

You still think that you’re not ready?

I often feel the same way when I write my book summaries. Not a day goes by without doubting my writing skills. Nonetheless, I still keep adding weekly articles on my site. How I do it?

I have a secret. A highly classified writing method that helps me publish weekly book reviews.

Let me share it with you…

I use the following technique when I’m creating content: The Two Screen Strategy.

This simple process prevents me from entering a state of “I don’t know what I should say next.”

Let me tell you how it actually works:

On the left side of my screen, I have a blank page while on the right I have my notes. If I don’t know what to say next, I simply glance right. The library of notes I have selected prevents me from getting stuck.

You can use the same process when practicing the skill you want to master.

If you’re trying to design a page using CSS, make sure to have easy access to your notes. If you want to learn how to play the piano, simply place your notes in front of you.

It looks kind of like this:

practice using your notes

When you have your notes available on the right side – or on a new tab, it’s incredibly hard to get stuck. The organized information will allow you to create a unique piece of content, write code, play a 1-minute tune, or whatever you want to do.

✍️ Action Section:

Make sure to take some sort of action based on the content you read online. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

Action Items:

Download the Workbook and use Worksheet #7 to create a new piece of content based on what you learned.

📋 Pro tips:

1/ While arming yourself with “ammunition” to avoid getting stuck can help you become a semi-good painter (or whatever you want to become), this activity can be quite distracting if you’re not careful.

When I’m writing a new piece of content I often overload my browser with tabs. At times, the number of videos and articles loaded on my laptop are enough to satisfy a full class of hungry for knowledge students. I do this because I believe that the ultimate piece of information that will make my new article “oh dear, so amazing” is just around the corner. So, instead of using what I already have available, I romanticize about finding something even better.

That can be a problem.

Make sure to separate the time you need to gather notes from the time you need to create something. Don’t allow yourself to search for new stuff when you’re making new stuff.

When practicing, only use the information you’ve gathered. This will help you avoid falling down the endless internet holes.

2/ If you’re a writer, to take advantage of the Two Screen Strategy in full, split your screen. Here are the steps: for Windows; for Mac.

Mark this lesson as complete to move to the next lesson…

Action Items:

Download the Workbook and use Worksheet #7 to create a new piece of content based on what you learned.