Balancing Tech With Responsibilities

Asiloku Titilayo
5 min readSep 19, 2022

Reina: “Hey Peter, it’s been a while. The last time we spoke, you told me you were transitioning to tech - Software Engineering. How is it going?”

Peter: Reina, I’m not going to lie to you. I can’t tell you if it’s going forward or backward.

Reina: Uhh! What do you mean?

Peter: I started alright but few weeks down, I couldn’t keep up with the courses. I had a lot on my plate. My job and responsibilities. I just couldn’t keep up. One day, I’m going to the course, the next three weeks I’m away from it. I don’t know what to do.

Reina: hmmm, it seems you have a problem with balancing your life with tech. What you need is a structured learning path.

Peter: A structured learning path? What is that?

You just read my conversation with someone who had difficulties balancing work and tech. You’re probably a student and facing the same issue.

Relax, there’s always a solution to every situation. Now, the issue is, can you keep to it?

Transitioning to tech might seem easy but have you ever considered what to do when the going gets tough, especially as a self-learner?

I spoke about the mistakes I made while self-learning some months back. You can check it here.

It’s always easy to get caught up in the euphoria of starting something new. We are excited to learn it. Two weeks into it, we are still excited. It’s like a new found love.

Every discovery is a wonder to you and you can’t help but wonder why you didn’t start early.

Fast forward, four to six weeks later, and it’s beginning to get to you. You’re becoming frustrated.

It’s no longer giving you the vibe of discovery, it wants to take over your activities. You can’t even take a breather without it. It’s after your life!

It shouldn’t be that way. Two things can get you frustrated while starting a new tech skill:

  1. Implementing what you've learnt.
  2. No structured learning path.

In the moments of discovery, you are excited. The teachings are making sense, and you can relate them to your environments.

However, the issue comes when it is time to implement what you’ve learnt.

All of a sudden, you feel overwhelmed and wonder if this is something you can really do. The doubts and the imposter syndrome starts seeping in.

Before you know it, your reality starts shifting and you’ve suddenly got legit reasons to stay away from your learning.

Work, school activities and other responsibilities start calling and you’ve got no choice but to answer.

The moment you’ve been waiting for.

This is where a structured learning path comes in.

A structured learning path is like its name implies. Structured.

Remember, you are self-learning, no tutor to demand an assignment from you or any other feedback and this can make you easily nonchalant.

A structured learning path means mastering your learning approach and sticking to it.

It entails you researching what the new skills you’ve picked for yourself require and how you can organize them for learning over some time.

For a structured learning path to be effective, you have to do the following:

1. Research:

Answer questions like what are the subcourses in my chosen field? What is the timeline required for this chosen course? How long can I study them? When will I be able to call myself a Junior Data Analyst or Programmer?

2. Analyze your findings:

You’ve made your research, now is the time to analyze your findings. There are a lot of segments in my chosen field, which of these would I be starting with? If you want a quick answer, start from the basics.

Starting from the basics helps you understand the principles of your chosen field and how you can scale through it.

Are we getting somewhere?

3. Spread the Course Outline:

So you’ve analyzed your findings, next up is spreading the course outline within a time frame.

How long do you think it will take you to be a professional programmer?

Keep in mind, for anything to be effective, you have to create a realistic time goal. Don’t spread the courses over one to two months.

Three to six months is the realistic time frame.

Learning never stops.

4. Create a study plan:

Most people jump into starting their classes out of excitement. I’ve been there, done that.

Some start today, excited and pumped for the next day but you won’t see them picking that course again.

Others start and two weeks down the line, they don’t know what they are about.

This is why creating a study plan is important.

Don’t get carried away by the excitement of learning new things that you forget you have a life before you chose tech.

Create a study plan around your schedule.

Planning is very important. It might sound cliche but writing your to-do lists has a way of putting things in perspective.

Creating a study plan also entails picking a time frame for your study. Do you study better during the day? Or at night?

Fix a time between your best hours. Start with one to two hours. If you feel like a champion, you can go six hours.

However, I’ll advise you to start with one or two hours. It will prevent burn out and of course, give you enough time to focus on other things.

Now, that is how to create a structured learning path. All that is left is being consistent with your learning path.

Consistency starts from little things. The way you handle studying while you’re not supervised speaks a lot about your personality.

It tells if you’re truly proactive or not. It also comes down to your intentionality.

I can tell you the secrets to hacking tech but if you don’t implement them, they are as good as useless to you.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you deserve 50 claps for doing a great job. Go ahead, indulge, you deserve it.

Do you think you still need help creating a structured learning path? Or you want to be kept accountable to your learning?

Then I’ve got the perfect solution for you. Reach out and let’s see what can be done.

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Asiloku Titilayo

Hi, I'm Titilayo. I'm all for sharing relatable stories and knowledge gained from the digital space. You can call me Reina