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Escaping Tutorial Purgatory

It's an easy trap to fall in to...

What do I mean by "Tutorial Purgatory"?

This is when you end up watching video course, tutorial or reading up on a subject and putting off the "doing" part of it because you don't feel you know enough. It's very easy to get stuck telling yourself "I'll start after I finish this course - I'm still learning"

I've been there and it's a hard situation to escape but it is possible and here are a couple of pointers to help you escape it.

Udemy is a great perpetuator of tutorial purgatory with many courses being 10+ hours long, you end up feeling compelled to watch it before starting the project you want to work on.

I've seen many Udemy courses hitting the 30+ hour mark. Can you imagine watching and working your way through 30+ hours of course content in your spare time after work? How long that would take you? And this is before you even begin working on the project or product you want to create!

My advice is to find the shortest (time-wise) course. That way you learn your material quickly and can jump into your project. 

We often use the term "MVP" or "Minimum Viable Product", we should treat learning the same way with "MVN" or "Minimum Viable Knowledge" to start doing. 

A real world example was when I needed to learn React Native. On Udemy there were courses ranging from 8 to 46+ hours! Then I found a few tutorials on YouTube and Udemy under an hour and picked one and went with it. After an hour I knew enough and was ready to go and starting developing a React Native application and learnt the rest along the way.

If you have a goal in mind, this can be a a project, product or a certification to work on. Find the minimum you need to know to get started and producing. 

The best way to learn is to actually do it. As someone once put it: "would you rather have a heart surgeon who has read books for 10 years or a surgeon who's done the operation for the last 5 years?". We learn more through out mistakes and issues we run in to. Going back to my React Native situation, I could have still been watching the 46 hour course before writing a single line of code, instead I had written and published my app. 

Another thing I had found myself doing in the past stuck in tutorial purgatory is watching courses and ONLY doing that. In the end, I wouldn't remember much and would feel good about all the "learning" I had done. 

My advise: follow along the course with the instructor. If they type, so do you. If you're watching a course on building a website then you should be building the same one as the instructor.

By watching shorter courses and following them along, you can swap your mentality from a "thinker" to a "do-er". Gary Vaynerchuk made a point that stuck with me by calling people "Students". They were learning, watching and consuming content but not actually producing or doing anything. 

Don't let your ideas stays as ideas, learn what you need and get stuck right in!


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