You know how sometimes you learn something, then you start to see it everywhere you look?
That happens to me all the time, and I’ve even started to try to take advantage of it.
There’s a name the phenomenon of encountering something once, then starting to see it everywhere: it’s the Baaader-Meinhof Phenomenon, also known as the “frequency illusion.” And it’s helped me start to write better training material.
I’ve found that I write the best material when I take a bit of time to step back and write training material, but then make sure I mix in some consulting work. Then I revisit the material and refine it to make it better.
The reason is the I personally seem to be pretty influenced by the frequency illusion. If I want to really get to understand a merge join, for instance, taking some time to research it, write some demos, and create some slides will bring it to the forefront of my brain. Then I don’t really have to think about it too much more if my brain is interested — every merge join I run into for the next few weeks will practically be surrounded by a glowing halo, inviting me to get to know it better.
The net result is really two things: I’ve started giving myself longer timelines for developing some content. And I’ve also finally admitted that I really can never procrastinate to get something started.