C++ is one of the most advanced coding languages out there. For beginners, learning it can seem like a daunting task. It forces thinking and complex problem-solving. It makes you use all of your coding skills at once. It’s no understatement to say that to learn C++ is like attempting physics for the first time.
However, C++ is more in demand now than ever before. Employers want you to know this language because of how much it’s used. Think about all of the browsers, operating systems, and games that rely on it to work. All of them need professionals like you to make it happen.
But what if you don’t know C++ yet? Is it even possible to learn it fast enough to find a job?
The answer is, yeah, it is possible. But you’re going to need to apply some time management skills.
The majority of people need about a year, but if you’re really good at managing your time, you can learn C++ in around six months.
This article will provide 10 proven time management tips that’ll help you master C++ as fast as possible.
Wake Up Early
What time do you wake up in the morning?
Is it early enough?
You can’t expect to manage your time well by getting up at noon. Ladders.com mentions a study that reveals how early risers earn more money. The study also hints at statistics that tell of successful people waking up early.
It’s no coincidence that so many Fortune 500 CEOs prefer rising at 4 a.m.
There’s a psychological benefit to waking up early. You feel more confident and like there is more time to do stuff.
The reason you feel that way is because it’s true. The earlier you wake up, the longer the days are. Early risers also have more discipline and are naturally better at getting work done.
However, it’s not a requirement to get up at 4 a.m.
7 a.m.-8 a.m. will do the trick, but the ideal range is 6 a.m.-8 a.m. Those hours provide plenty of leverage to schedule the day out and accomplish goals.
It’s amazing how much C++ syntax you can learn early in the morning, assisted by a cup of coffee and some breakfast!
Finish Your Most Important Work in the Morning
It’s hard enough to learn C++, but there’s a good chance that you have other things to do as well. Maybe you work a job or go to school full time. Perhaps you’re doing both and feel overwhelmed.
Whatever it is, coding probably isn’t the only thing keeping you occupied.
So that makes it even more crucial to get your most important work done in the morning.
For example, let’s say you’re starting to learn the building blocks of C++. Data types, variables, and operators are all necessary steps to understanding this language. The only way you’re going to learn is by drilling the information into your head.
First thing in the morning, begin by learning about data types. Learn everything you can about that specific topic from the moment you wake up until about noon.
Then, maybe take a break and resume for an hour. Repeat that process for the next topics you’re studying.
Ideally, it’s best to work until about 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Even science suggests that working in the morning is a good idea.
Businessinsider.com referenced a scientific study that proves people enjoy doing work in the early hours of the day. They mention how human biology wires us to work in the morning.
So use those early hours to get the toughest aspects of C++ out of the way. Then, you can have the rest of the day to yourself.
Plan Out Your Day
Not planning out the day is one of the biggest reasons why people waste time. When you have the day planned, you know when and what it is that must get done.
Without a plan, it’s kind of hard to wing it.
None of us are perfect, and we all need help. You can buy a planning notebook at any convenience store. Or if you can’t get a physical book, then a digital planner will work just fine.
If you want to learn C++ fast, planning out the day will ensure that happens. Stick with waking up early and doing the hardest work in the morning.
Also, remember to plan out any breaks or meals between that time. Doing so will allow you to schedule your work around them.
Likewise, make sure to plan out the rest of your day.
You don’t want to get backed up on any other work unrelated to programming. Anything that causes you to play catch up will delay the time it takes to learn C++.
For some people, this is a tough one to shake off. Entertainment is what keeps so many of us sane.
And it’s OK, I get it.
You need your Netflix, Hulu, video games, Disney Plus, and other stuff to keep you happy. Yet, the problem stems from a lack of time.
There really aren’t any magic wands or shortcuts that would allow you to learn C++ quickly. To push your limits and master one of the most challenging coding languages out there, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices.
Consider temporarily limiting all entertainment in your life. That includes gaming, Netflix, Hulu, and even going out with friends.
Almost anything can be a potential time-waster. The more time-wasters you cut out, the more time you’ll have to learn code. Reduce the hours you spend on entertainment slowly.
Bring entertainment down an hour or two each day until there’s plenty of time left to study code. This way, you might have a few hours left to do something fun, without going overboard.
Learn on Weekends
Weekdays are some of the busiest times for most people. But the weekend is generally seen as a time to relax. For you, however, weekends are a chance to study more C++.
There’s a good chance you have weekends off if you work a job or go to school.
Instead of wasting your weekends partying, you can practice plenty of code.
Saturday and Sunday are an opportunity to get some of the heavier work done. Take the time on the weekend to familiarize yourself with some C++ formulas and syntax.
Here’s an example of the Hello World function syntax of C++:
using namespace std;
/* This is my first C++ program */
It’s also a good time to do some vocabulary drills. Use weekend mornings to learn keywords and variables. A variable is a given name in a memory location.
C++ has a few of them, and they’re important.
Weekends are a chance for you to get these tasks out of the way faster.
Track Your Goals
One of the hardest things about learning something like C++ is staying motivated. It’s easy to quit when feeling drained or when it feels like you’re wasting your time.
However, that’s why it’s so important to track your goals. It’s much less likely that you’ll get burnt out when tracking your progress.
Here’s an example of a list of goals:
- Read three books on C++.
- Learn the basics of C++.
- Try writing code.
- Start working on a project.
- Finish the project.
Obviously, these are broader goals. The smaller ones will depend on you as an individual. Everybody wants different outcomes from learning code. So it’s your responsibility to know exactly what you want, and make a list of it.
Go into detail and create goals for each week and month.
Furthermore, for larger goals, like learning the basics of C++, it’s OK to celebrate at the end.
Celebrating those smaller victories will help you stay motivated and get through the process. Celebrate by sharing your achievement with friends and family. Maybe take the night off and go out to dinner.
Whatever it is, just make sure to give yourself credit.
Remember to cross goals out once completed. Move on to the next one, and celebrate after accomplishing another larger goal.
Repeat the process until you have a good understanding of C++.
Limit Time for Each Task
The result of your work will be affected by how much time you spend on each task. Yes, it’s important to spend enough hours learning. But too much time spent on one thing can actually hold you back.
That’s why you need to limit your time.
For instance, if you’re stuck on a formula, and it feels too hard, don’t spend too much time on it. Set a timer and stop what you’re doing. There are probably more important things for you to do, even outside of programming.
Daily chores, work, and school all need to get done too, so try again another day, possibly with some help.
Forums have plenty of people willing to answer any questions you may have. Or even consider hiring an online tutor if it’s more convenient. There is nothing wrong with spending some money to get help with programming. If it means you will learn faster, then it’s worth it.
Knowing C++ is a valuable skill, and employers are willing to pay good money for it. Whatever you spend on boot camps, courses, and tutors is an investment.
Learn How To Say No
Unfortunately, taking the time to learn C++ does require sacrifice, as I explained earlier about entertainment. However, if turning off the TV is something you can decide on your own, other kinds of situations can involve other people.
And so, there’s still a chance you might fall under pressure from friends and family. You must get serious about learning code and limit parties and social gatherings as much as possible.
I’m not saying you have to skip Christmas or New Year’s. But if your friend is throwing a party over the weekend and invites you, it’s OK to say no.
You would probably be able to go if time wasn’t of the essence, but it is.
To soften the impact of putting your social life on pause, just think about how much you’ll benefit from mastering C++.
A year is not that long.
Remember what your motives are for learning this stuff. You’re likely doing it to attain a better quality of life. So whatever effects this will have on your social life will only be temporary.
Once you learn the language, you could go to as many parties as you want. However, for now, it’s best to stick with a strict schedule.
That’s the only way you’re going to learn fast.
After everything I stated in this article, learning C++ can feel overwhelming.
Don’t let it feel that way for you. Now is not the time to get stressed out and skip sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things for keeping on schedule.
Zapier.com cites a scientific study that reveals tons of evidence linking productivity to sleep. The study states that U.S. workers had a sharp decrease in productivity due to poor sleep.
Productivity will get you to learn fast. If you are not productive, then the process will take longer.
That is why getting quality sleep is so imperative.
It’s also a good idea to take breaks and not overwork yourself. You can even take a day or two off if it feels like you’ve worked too much. Sometimes doing that is better and can help you avoid burnout.
Since we’ve been prioritizing time, you might think multitasking is a good idea. And yet, you have to do your best not to multitask. Doing two things at once can negatively affect how you learn.
Will learning C++ variables, data types, and strings all at once be faster?
Of course it will. However, there’s no point in learning code if you’re not actually going to retain the information. What I mean by that is C++ must become second nature to you.
It’s important to have mastery over every part of the language. Even when you learn all of the basics and even get a job, there is still much to learn. Programmers who have good mastery over C++ are still learning.
So if you want to have a good understanding from the beginning, you must focus on one thing at a time.
Take the time to learn the variables, and don’t move on to anything else until you get them down. Then move on to the next topic, and focus all of your attention on it.
You Can Learn C++ Fast
In the end, is it possible to learn C++ relatively quickly?
Yet, is it going to require sacrifice and discipline as well?
You see, nothing is going to get done unless you make it happen. If learning C++ in less than a year is your goal, then you must be dedicated. Otherwise, nothing will change.
Remember all of the points that I listed in the article, and use them as a guide. Plan your days so that you remain on schedule. Get up early, do work in the morning, and have limited entertainment.
Use weekends to learn more and track your progress and avoid spending too much time on one task. Also, be sure to say no, get plenty of rest, and resist multitasking.
Following these steps will ensure that you grasp C++ quickly.
Once you do, your income as a programmer will increase dramatically. Higher-paying jobs and career development will finally be within your grasp.