Somehow, my March Raspberry Pi and Python adventure got lost in April and May. Work, travel, semester end, all those things took up my time. Learning Python was not a priority, and once it fell off the to do list, it stayed off. It was easy to ignore the Raspberry Pi, too, since the huge monitor was gone.
It happens often, doesn’t it? The things we would like to do get pushed aside for all the things we feel like we have to do. I think it’s even harder for someone like me who works independently. I can just keep working, maybe with the sense that I could actually get through the WHOLE to do list and then have some free time.
Let’s face it: that isn’t going to happen. Just as I am checking off the last item, an email shows up with some non-urgent request. Might as well answer it so it won’t be lurking around tomorrow. And, if I worked on the newsletter now–even thought it isn’t due to go out for four days–then it will be done. And, and, and…you are getting the gist of it, right?
So, at some point in the last couple weeks, I started adding non-work, non-priority activities to my to do list including Python programming, piano playing, blogging and yoga, all activities I enjoy but that often got lost in the fog of work. Just having them written down along helped a bit. And then there was the advice of Zed A. Shaw, author of Learn Python the Hard Way in his “Note on Practice and Persistence” in the introduction:
If you break the problem down into small exercises and lessons, and do them every day, you can learn to do almost anything. If you focus on slowly improving and enjoying the learning process, then you will benefit no matter how good you are at it.
And that’s really become my strategy: do a little each day. Sometimes, the few minutes at the piano or on the yoga mat turn into a half hour or hour. One Python exercise becomes two or three. And here’s the blog entry for today: no major lessons but a reminder to use all that if something is important to us, we need to make time for it. In a 24/7 world, we can work all the time…but that, as we know, makes us all dull people.