Scattered energy doesn't work
Using "stages" or "levels" for maximum results
Repeating what doesn't work
So, the advice is:
SCATTERED ENERGY DOESN'T WORK
Scattered energy pretty much dissipates into thin air, with no or little forward progress.
In life, we want to "grow" so that we are more capable of appreciating life and so that we are more capable of producing what we want. The purpose, of course, is not "growth" but is "to reach the capability of being happy".
Along the way, of course, we need to "maintain the equipment" so that we are strong and capable of progressing and enjoying life. So, we first set aside time to do those, by building in Practices (possible practices are suggested in that section).
The rest of the time is for enjoying oneself and for fulfillment and for making progress so that the first two (and all of life) are better.
As long as the obvious benefits of making progress are recognized, then we want to do more of it sooner.
Concentrated focus is the principle by which you'll do that.
It is, in one dimension, analogous to a "laser", which has incredible power by narrowing its power to a smaller more specific point and by focusing all the energy toward that point.
In terms of humans, it means taking the available energy in the future and managing it to focus on a specific end point. Of course, we need Perspective, so that we can choose, ahead of time, on purpose what will pay off the most. It makes no sense to concentrate energy on something small or frivolous when there are far more beneficial things to focus on.
In a sense, this process results in one having "themes" to focus on until the end objective is achieved.
USING "STAGES" OR "LEVELS" FOR MAXIMUM RESULTS
Note that it is vital that you follow the 80/20 rule here, by limiting how far you go into learning something so that you don't waste time knowing much more than is useful. In other words, you would not choose to be a total master in one subject to the exclusion of others that are important or more fruitful. You would first go into learning area 1 so that you are "pretty darned knowledgeable" (level 1) and then go to area 2 where you would do the same, so that you would be pretty darned knowledge in two important things, and could run your life better. Later, after you've taken all the really important "20%s" and achieved huge benefits, you would then go to what is the next most beneficial thing to do, such as learning area 1 to level 2.
This is, as all progress is, a "cumulative" process. And you'll be amazed after a relatively short few months, how much progress suddenly appears to have been achieved!
REPEATING WHAT DOESN'T WORK
A prime example of not following this practice is the individual I competed with for a job (at my age of 20) and won out over a guy with 15 years experience. My boss pointed out that "no, he didnt have 15 years experience, he had one year's experience 15 times."
Many "self improvement" type people end up making little real progress because they violate this principle and scatter their energy by jumping around and by starting and stopping and starting and stopping, over and over and over...so that they end up not getting very good at anything.
Many practice a version of what Sisyphus did, when he would push the boulder almost all the way to the top of the mountain and then give up and let it roll back down, only to repeat the process over and over. While everybody recognizes the lunacy in that, they fail to see that they are engaged in doing the same thing. ("Not me!", you say. But the law of of cause and effect says for every effect there is a cause. If you don't make alot of progress in your life or have a problem that is continuing over years, even decades, it is evidence that you are doing what doesn't work - and need to do what does work, which this is.)
Note that the definition of insanity is repeating the same old thing and expecting different results! Or the simple saying "If it doesn't work, do something else." [But hopefully you'll intelligently pick the "something else."]
Yes, it is good that they seek self-improvement and it is true that they are better off for it, but they achieve far less self-improvement than they should with the time devoted to it. Consequently, many potential learners come to the [illogical, uninformed] conclusion that self improvement as a strategy is not productive - after all, look how little good it did for that self-improvement groupie.
Being a dilettante or a believer in "magical" theories and disciplines is the formula for very little progress. I see many people who seek to solve a problem or to self-improve give up far before sufficient mastery is attained. They try long term things for 5 days, 10 days, 15 days and then give up as they feel they haven't achieved any benefits - and they go off looking for another solutions. These people should pay attention to their counselors/advisors to stick with what they've identified as important and don't quit too early. Quitting too soon is a result of not using one's thinking brain and/or an extension of the child's thinking of needing immediate gratification.
Is it any wonder that some of these people conclude that all is hopeless or "nothing will work for me!" It makes sense in a limited thinking way, but it is totally untrue. What has actually happened is that they simply aren't doing what works - and if it has worked for somebody else of normal intelligence it will work for you!
SO, THE ADVICE IS:
So, the advice here is:
2. Focus intensely and exclusively on the topic at hand.
This means you would commit to a schedule of learning. You would commit to reading and/or practicing for at least one hour a day. It is said, and is basically true, that you can become in fewer than five years one of the top experts in any field if you read in that area for 1/2 hour a day.
Let me reemphasize that you should use the principles of learning, so that you'll progress much, much faster. See Learning. This whole website is designed to have you be able to get all the key points and learnings in a summarized, quicker delivery form, but you do need to spend some time, where you spend a 1/2 hour, or preferably, one hour a day focused in reading around one particular objective. Also, you will find it a great forward boost to do a Theme Day approach to learning a particular topic. Working at it for 4 to 8 hours will have a remarkable effect. If you do, you'll make extraordinary progress in a sub area in about a week and in bigger areas in just a few months. This will rocket boost you past others who are doing this erratically or not "completing" enough.
And you'll be amazed at the power you will have in a relatively short period.
Will you do that?