ARCHIVE: Datacamp December: Day 3

Posted on December 1, 2017
This is the last day of my “soft launch” since tomorrow will be December, and I’ve just finished Intro to Python for Data Science. However, I’ve also realized I have to make some tradeoffs. There are only so many hours per day and only so many priorities that I can handle in one go. When in doubt or overwhelmed, I cull my inputs and focus on my priorities. These things are priority:

  1. Do a great job at work
  2. Finish the Python Data Scientist track by end of December
  3. Personal growth: learn to speak basic Chinese with family this month and get back into a weightlifting routine.

Most importantly, some things are NOT priority and should be cut:

-Coffee, drinks, or other social gathering with people I already see regularly.  In general, coffee or drinks are primarily about gossip. I’ll only go to gatherings with a specific purpose, like dinner, seeing a movie, a concert, a birthday, etc. If it’s a specific person I want to meet, I’ll meet them 1:1 for a walk, tea, or food. Catching up with friends you’ve not seen in a while is good for the soul 🙂 but for people you already see and talk to regularly, it’s superfluous.

-Generic events: Avoid them like the plague, they are nothing but distraction. Same for happy hours or company events. I need to buckle down and learn by doing, not merely talk about Python, Data Science, or make small talk. Focus.

-Buying stuff: Don’t! You have plenty of things, people in your life will care more to see you or hear from you than get stuff from you, and you need to save money right now so you can start 2018 on a financially firm footing.

-Worrying: Would it help?  Nope. Just do the thing you want to do, something that’s important if you can’t think anything, or workout if lost. Don’t worry.


Progress update: I’m still not done with the first course (Intro to Python for Data Science), but will make sure to finish it before end of day tomorrow. My estimate on pacing isn’t holding up, this is important enough that  I need to make it routine. I should have finished Intro and Intermediate by today, but I’m going to barely finish Intro. The only way to bridge this gap going forward is to make it a daily activity that I do first thing, every morning. I don’t have the discipline in the evening after work and perhaps my brain needs some down time (or gym) then.

Starting tomorrow (December 1st Friday), I will do Python and Chinese first thing in the morning. If it works, I’ll do this every morning Monday – Friday and dedicate a floating 2 hour block on Sunday as well.


January 2018 Update: I made tremendous progress on Chinese, such that I was able to talk to my girlfriend’s family in a functional enough way. There’s still miles to go, and a whole lifetime’s  worth to learn, but I felt I finally “got” how to pronounce Chinese, how the language builds on itself, and am not totally at a loss in conversations. As mentioned in previous archive posts though, Datacamp December has moved to January and February. I’m now on track to finish all 20 courses and a project by Feb 16th. Full steam ahead!