If you’re like me, you have a ton of different subjects that you’d love to learn. I have a 1400 page art history book that’s been sitting in my bookshelf for years. I’ll get to it one day.

So then how do decide what I should learn next? I have a couple of criteria that I look at:

  1. Is it interesting?
  2. Will it be applicable to more than one area of my life?
  3. Is it difficult to outsource?

I try to answer yes to all three questions before trying to learn it.

For the first part, is it interesting? There are countless subjects out there. I’ve realized that there’s no reason to force myself to learn something that doesn’t interest me. This is not to say that the subject isn’t interesting, just not to me.

If it doesn’t interest me, it’ll take way longer to learn. Learning is a lot of work. Why work so hard if it doesn’t interest me? I’ll not even keep much since I’ll have to force myself to get through it.

Next, will it be applicable to many areas of my life? I’m busy. I’m sure you’re busy as well. We love to multi-task, often to our determinant. I want to be able to apply whatever I learn in at least two aspects of my life, hopefully, all of them. For example, I could have learned how to create this website. It would have taken a few weeks. I could have even done it for free. YouTube is a treasure trove of educational videos.

But when would I need it again? A few more times in my life, if that. Instead, I picked up a book on writing. I know. You’re having flashbacks from high school English class. But, better writing would flow through everything I do. Even if this blog failed, if I became a better writer through it, I would consider it a success.

Finally, is it difficult to outsource? Prepare yourself, this is a little morbid. We only have a specific amount of time in this world. I’ve already gotten to the point in my life that I’ll read less than 1000 books. Less than 500? Who knows, even less? If the subject doesn’t interest me and it wouldn’t be applicable to many areas of my life, it’s much better to outsource.

The creation of this website was outsourced. Even better, I was able to find someone that was willing to teach me some of the basics. This way I could do a majority of the work on it myself after it was made. This saved me at least a couple weeks of time learning how to make a website and run it from the ground up. I was also able to hire him on an ongoing basis in case I break something.

There are other topics that I would say yes to the first two questions, but no to the last that I outsource. Well, with some sadness. There is too much to learn that I have to make sure that it meets all my criteria.