What are practical ways to achieve self-development?
I believe everyone should develop their potential to the highest possible level, so it’s a personal matter, since I enjoy this process very much. I like to create a structure and track the development, how it evolves, and change habits and beliefs that no longer serve me.
Self-development doesn't pick a time and place. One thing that you need is actually the will to walk that road. But even then, you would need the destination. That's something that people often neglect and you will get nowhere without it. This refers to both professional and personal development.
Let's say we have a clear vision of a place where we want to be. A clear destination. But how will we get there? We need to define our strategy. What will the way to our destination look like, what are habits that we should build and what habits should we change, what steps do we need to take? The last important element is flexibility. We should be flexible enough to see when we're not getting closer to our destination and adjust our actions accordingly.
That's self-development in a nutshell. I apply this pattern in my life and it really brings value.
I would like to emphasize the importance of habits. Try setting up a habit, one that will support you. Work on that 30 minutes a day and track your progress weekly: one that I see as a real game changer is reading. Whether you want to master some work or non-work-related topic you can't make a mistake with this one. Personally I enjoy reading early in the morning for at least half an hour. I choose mornings because I feel I can absorb anything at that time, plus they are free of distractions. I love keeping that part of the day for myself. Making more of them can drastically change your life.
I also strive to use working hours wisely and get as much as I can out of them. If you think about it, 40 hours a week is not a small amount of time to invest in something. And we accumulate that weekly, annually... The only question is: how do we spend that time? How to invest wisely? Practically – do code reviews, observe how other experienced colleagues think, how they communicate, why did they write a code the way they did, what are the underlying concepts of the technology that you use, why it is being used in the first place, which problems are solved by that technology, what are the limitations, etc.