One of my biggest struggles in self-improvement has always been following through.

Not following through or committing was a large contributor to my less-than stellar high school GPA.  The same lack of consistency remained as I drifted through my first year of college. Luckily, the consequences of my actions were enough to get me in gear for my B.A. and have continued to apply to my professional life.

However, it’s in my extracurricular pursuits that I find myself dropping the ball again. Late last year, I enrolled in a  Coursera Search Engine Optimization specialization that seemed right up my alley. The courses were relevant and applicable (even a few years post-development) and, if I didn’t care for a specific instructor, the videos were short enough that they didn’t distract from the content. Things were going well: I set aside time to watch the videos, to physically write my notes (accommodating my kinesthetic learning style), I even bought the suggested (read: non-mandatory) textbook.

A year later, and I haven’t finished the specialization. I completed five of the six courses, and didn’t enroll in the capstone project.

What happened? I caught myself a few weeks ago and asked the same question. 

The short answer: I got busy, I got distracted and, even worse, I allowed my distractions to take precedence.

To be fair, they were really good distractions. I transitioned out of a sales role to a channel that better spoke to my passion and qualifications, joined the team at Becky Sarwate, went on a two-week trip to Asia (without a single cent put on a credit card), re-started physical therapy for my knee and ran (walked) my third Tough Mudder.

Good changes. Great changes. But changes that didn’t allow me to wrap up a 5-6 week independent project? No, not really.  Especially if taking those 4-5 hours a week results in verified LinkedIn courses and resume content, as well as an upper hand for developing web content in the future.

Ultimately that’s why I’ve started re-reading the textbook (The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization, for those wondering) as a refresher to re-activate that knowledge and complete the specialization in the next available session right after the Thanksgiving holiday. Why I chose to do this over the holidays… I’m not sure, but here I go.

Anyone else think they work best when they’re overloaded? No? Just me, I guess. 

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