And like any other motivated self-starter, I dove head-first online and started researching like crazy. Websites, articles, videos, blogs, online courses — pretty much anything that I found remotely useful I started bookmarking it. Or, if we’re being honest, hoarding it.
Thirty days later, I had taken 50-pages worth of notes and created more than 10 different folders on my browser for all that knowledge.
You might’ve heard the term, ‘Tutorial Hell’, right? That dreaded phase we all find ourselves whenever we want to start something new. When we’re too insecure to take the first step, and we keep reading tutorial after tutorial, as if one day we’ll magically be completely ready. Spoiler alert: we are never completely ready for anything.
But see, I found myself in an even worse phase. I was, in what I like to call, ‘Pre-Tutorial Hell.’ Unlike its well-known and infamous cousin, at this stage, you are not stuck on endless videos, beginners tutorials, and online classes but, you are creating a vast curation of “helpful” content, which you are likely to never use it.
It was only after I had bookmarked my 60th online course, that I realized what I had done.
I believe that like any new task we attempt to undertake, a thorough research is always welcome. But until you take the very first step onto actually starting something, you are really just copying and pasting.
Know your Goal: understand where you are and what you want to achieve. This will help you to better filter your content.
Read it, don’t Skim it: after your initial search, make sure to actually read the articles you selected before opening several new tabs.
Limit your Tabs: so you don’t lose control. Just pick a number and make sure you stick to it. I’m comfortable working with 8 open tabs but for you, that might mean 4, 6, 10. Whatever you’re comfortable with.
Don’t Linger: the internet is a big place, you are bound to find duplicated content. When you do find similar materials, jump to the next tab.
Find a Master: if you are going to study via YouTube — which is a great free learning resource — make sure their learning methods make sense for you. There’s no point in following someone just because everyone else does. Fortunately, there are plenty of gurus on YouTube so chances are you’ll find someone who fits your needs.
Find a Partner: once you decide you are interested in a specific field of study/work, search for specialized online communities. Some of the most common places are Facebook Groups, Reddit, or Discord, but every niche has its own corner online.
Looking back, I can’t say it was a total waste of time. If anything, it taught me how to research better.
Plus, I have study material to last me a whole year and beyond!
If you are just starting, figure out what is important to you, what you want to achieve, and where you want to be.
While you’ll feel you’re being productive during your research, doing it aimlessly won’t get you far. Just like with learning, you need to be focused and have a purpose.