Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I don't have any time for learning to code :( Please help me finding the solution.

My daily life starts at 5h, having breakfast and go to bus stop at 5h45. Arriving at company at 7h00. Working until 16h30. Arrive home at 18h30. Training at gym at 19h. having dinner and then take a shower at 21h.

I really want to spend about 1 hour at night for learning to code. But I am too exhausted after a working day and just want to sleep.

Do you have any idea for my case?

share|improve this question
What are you doing on the bus? – Raystafarian Apr 11 '14 at 12:50
Do you go to the gym every day? – Michael Kjörling Apr 14 '14 at 9:52
Why do you want to learn to code? And do you feel it is more important than going to the gym? – THelper Apr 14 '14 at 11:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I am in a similar situation except replace 1 hour at gym with 2-3 hours for family (kids) and 1-2 hour of homework (grad school). Here are the things I found that helped me.

  • The biggest thing that helped me was to force myself to use it at work. This obviously depends on what you do for a job (I'm not a programmer but still work at a computer all day). I spent time to automate small tasks with scripts and small programs. Microsoft Office documents can be automated with macros (VB) or you can get into PowerShell, bash, or Python pretty easily for regular computer tasks. You mainly just need to make sure your manager is OK with you making things more reliable, faster, and scalable. Yes it will take longer to get something started, but once it's scripted or in a small program, it takes practically no time moving forward. You can also look into psudo-code programs like TextExpander, AutoKey, AutohotKey, etc. to get in the programming mindset for solving problems.
  • Podcasts and audio books helped a lot. I could listen without needing to be too involved and was easy to fit in while I was driving. Plus there are a LOT of options out there. If you don't like one, just move on to the next.
  • Free video subscriptions replace any TV time. If I was home cooking dinner, I'd put on a tutorial video and even if I didn't actively listen or follow along. I was still able to get a lot of information from occasionally paying attention and watching what they are doing. I would play these on my laptop in the kitchen or TV via a YouTube app.
  • Hanging out with developers helped more than I expected it to. I made friends with some of the developers at work and was surprised how much I learned by just passively asking them about what they are working on, what they like/dislike about specific languages, and how they would solve specific tasks I was trying to learn. If you don't have any developers at work consider joining a local group through, LinkedIn, or similar site.
  • Join a mailing list for the language you are trying to learn. This one might be hard because you may have to find the time to read the subscription but reading the subscription on your phone (if you have a smartphone) or delivering emails to a kindle for offline reading (via IFTTT or Gmail filters) on the bus/at the gym would also help.
  • Use a read it later service so you can keep track of things you want to read. I regularly use Pocket to send any interesting tweet, article, email, etc. to my phone so I can read it later. You can use whatever service you like but the important thing is I can then fill wasted time (waiting in line, on the john, lying in bed) with reading time for things I actually want to read. Instead of just browsing a social network to kill time, I actually make headway on an article I want to read.

My final piece of advice is to find a problem you want to solve with software and focus just on that problem. Make the problem small enough to do in a week or two (weekends and staying up late) and then work to find solutions to just the small functions, syntax, and methods to solve that one problem. Programming in general is too big of a topic to just try and learn everything at once without applying any of the knowledge. If you can break it up into small applicable solutions you will start gaining knowledge a lot faster than reading hundreds of books and trying to remember everything you read. Plus, if the problem is something you actually want to solve, instead of just a tutorial, you will be more motivated to find the solution. That motivation helps you stay up late and think about the problem in the back of your mind when you otherwise would just be day dreaming etc.

share|improve this answer
I like the use it at work, even if it isn't really your job. Once you really start doing that a lot, you'll wonder why you ever did things without writing scripts to ease the busy work. – Karen Apr 25 '14 at 18:08

It looks like you have two hours a day commuting on public transportation. That's a golden opportunity to spend time studying. You can start small listening to podcasts, and work your way up to tutorials on a laptop.

share|improve this answer

Your not alone. I think this describes the typical day for most people. It's hard to find the time to learn new stuff and keep your skills sharp.

You need to make more time in your day or use the time you have more effectively. Having little time means you probably won't be able to sit down and read a book for any amount of time so your best option may to be to find audio books, podcasts or tutorial videos you can listen so whilst traveling or performing other work that does not require to much concentration.

Just a few tips...

  • listen to programming tutorials to and from work.
  • listen to tutorials whilst going to sleep at night
  • use any free time at the weekends to follow your dream
  • don't take a lunch or breakfast, food is for wimps
  • get a youtube account - subscribe to all the experts in your field
  • just start with something (a basic hello world app) - it will spur you along
  • Now more than ever there are also some great online learning resources. Just a few



If your serious it's worth considering to invest in your own future with one of these services.

I've learnt several server side and client side programming languages over the years whilst at the same time running my own small software company - it can be done you just need to be passionate enough and you'll do whatever it takes to find the time.

I hope something here helps you get the ball rolling. Best of luck for now,

share|improve this answer
Tuts plus are good video tuturoials for beginners, too. – Ave Maleficum Apr 11 '14 at 10:40
Mostly good advice. But I would certainly remove the comment "food is for wimps". Obviously, the op cares about his health since he works out. The worst advice you can give to someone who needs energy because he has long days is to tell him not to care for lunch time! – Max Apr 14 '14 at 19:48
I'd have to agree with Max - food is one of the most important things on your list, a point made by doctors, sports coaches, life coaches, physios etc. Remember, you can study and eat at the same time! – Rory Alsop Apr 15 '14 at 0:00
It was meant as a little joke. I don't think anyone will disagree that to eat well is of course absolutely essential. Please forgive my odd sense of humor :) – Ryan Healey Apr 15 '14 at 22:18

I'd recommend combining it with your Gym Training. Personally I've had a lot of success with this by playing Pluralsight videos on my phone while on a treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike.

share|improve this answer

As was already stated - you're not alone. Since you do not have a lot of time - you must have focus. Define what exactly are you trying to accomplish and make sure that you're not wasting time trying to learn "everything".
I've found that choosing a project when learning a new technology or programming languages helps maintain focus and motivation so basically I'll start by learning using books, blog posts and video casts and then choose a project and start working on it solving problems as try arise and learn only what I need in order to complete the project.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.