A Great Day to Learn Something New


As out of control as everything feels today, we do have control over one thing: how we spend our time. Time is a currency. So much so that we call the use of it “spending” time. Today, while some are forced to put themselves in harm’s way to do what needs to be done, many of us will have the shared experience of being alone. How will you “invest” your alone time? Here are a few ideas.

Coding Skills

Take your HTML/CSS/Javascript game to the next level. Wait. You don’t have any HTML, CSS or Javascript game? No problem. YouTube is full of amazing tutorials. Check out Traversy Media or freeCodeCamp.org (tell me why the first letter is lowercase and the rest of the words are in caps for a bonus prize) — or any one of a thousand places online — and do a tutorial that takes you to the next level.

Get Your Side Hustle Going

You know that passion project you’ve been telling me about for the past three years? The idea for an app, the idea for a new online business, the new book you’re writing, the new craft business you wanted to start… that project? Today’s the day to get serious about it. If you’re not willing to start it today, let it go. I don’t trust any ideas that are over five years old anyway!

Learn Some Math

There are a zillion math courses and videos online. My favorite is a YouTube channel called 3Blue1Brown. You will simply love the way math is presented here. If any math teacher in your life had the communication skills of Grant Sanderson, you would have chosen math as your profession.

Plan and Host a Video Chat/Conference

There are dozens of tools you can use to host a video chat or small conference. You can have an afternoon discussion with a group of friends or colleagues. My wife is in a Zoom video conference right now, taking an online HIIT class with her favorite instructor and a bunch of her friends. There’s no magic. It’s really easy to do. Here’s a list of my favorite communications apps.

For My Musician Friends

Start your 30-day 12-key challenge. Pick 30 exercises, patterns, scales, or modes (one per day) and woodshed it in all 12 keys for an hour. Today is “altered scale in broken thirds” day for me. Yesterday was Barry Harris 6th diminished scale day. (My fingers still hurt, but not as much as my head.) Thanks to Peter Martin for the idea.

Reach Out with Random Acts of Kindness

Maybe the best thing you can do today is reach out to people who may be at risk, or alone, or just lonely. Everyone I know is dealing with this differently. As sad and scary as all of this is, you can brighten someone’s day by spending your time on them. It’s the best gift you can give. Stay safe.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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