Programming Katas with Anki

Last year I was confronted with the fact that some of my technical skills have grown stale - at the point at which they were good enough to get the job done it seemed that all progress stopped.   I hadn't stopped learning - just stopped learning about certain technologies and products.   There were benefits to being in this rut like having extra time to spend on the needs of my organization and opportunities within my industry.   But all justifications aside the bottom line was that my productivity was being whittled away through small and continuous inefficiencies in my development methods.   I was using vim like a glorified notepad, I was using the mouse rather than keyboard short cuts on Firefox and Terminator, my use of Python was stuck in the 2.4 days, and I was consulting help on the find command far too often.

So, I settled on a strategy that I used many years ago - to learn one thing every day.   Which mostly worked.   Where it failed is in the specifics of the meaning of 'learn':  I was forgetting some things almost as quickly as I was learning them.   Certain items really required practice and repetition.

But why stop with just learning something well enough to do it slowly and painfully?   Ideally, I would know my tools so well that most common tasks don't require conscious thought at all.  This would eliminate unnecessary distractions and free me up to think about the harder problems at hand.   I want more of my development time to be in a mental state of flow.