Unlike normal development, it doesn't necessarily need to be done in the most pragmatic way. Redux is massive overkill for a simple todo list, but it's still a good learning project.
I think about coding in unfamiliar domains in two speeds - "get it done" (write code that works, even if not fully understanding how it works), and "fully understand" (including right down to what the framework code is doing, and why). Production code could be either of those two, but learning code is always the latter.
('Locking the door' might just mean turning off all notifications, or it might be an actual physical door. Either way it's important; even the fear that you could potentially be broken out of focus is enough that you won't generate it in the first place).
I take some time to identify some data sources, and select a coherent set. I want multiple perspectives, but I don't generally want them to disagree much. At the 'master' level you learn all the ways of doing something and the reasons why - at the 'beginner' level you want one sensible way of doing it.
If possible, the sources are mainly text. Video is slow, even watched at 1.5x+.
It's nice to include at least one human being (if they're a subject-matter expert and available on low latency) in the data sources. Rapidly checking understanding can save time later.
To truly understand something, you must teach it. Nothing exposes gaps in your understanding like trying to explain something. Peer-review of the resulting article afterwards will also expose things you got wrong (or at least generate interesting discussions)
As a generalist swapping through many skillsets, there might be a long interval between the first time I use this and the second. The article allows for spaced repetition (via regular review), and rapid lookup (via nvAlt). There's no point in learning something if it doesn't stay learnt.
I've used both breadth-first and depth-first, and a mixture, to explore the tree - but either way, it's important not to get lost. If I encounter a concept I'm unfamiliar with, I'll make a note that looks like either:
EXPLORE: 'arrow functions'? Something to do with ES6.
SWITCHING to 'arrow functions'. RESUME: Redux sample code at http://example.com/....
Other useful things to keep track of:
"unanswered questions", since it's not always efficient to context-switch to answer them immediately.
"out of scope" - learning like this needs to be a laser, not a lamp. Prevent digressions by keeping track of what you've decided not to pursue (for now).
Project: "Make gwynmorfey.com pretty, with maintainable css"
Time: 10:30am - 5:00pm today
Data sources: There's lots of out-of-date material. Filtering down to posts written in the last year seems to help. Some starting points: