A 20% investment seems to be the sweet spot for a doable amount that still results in significant benefits. In Personal Finance saving 20% of your income is a great goal to strive for; Businesses like Google and Thoughtbot have policies to spend 20% of your time on business investment. You can apply this to your personal goals to achieve equally impressive returns.
Making 20% time work for you depends on one underlying premise: that it is an investment that can move you forward.
That means playing video games and watching TV doesn’t count.
For something to be considered an investment there has to be a reasonable chance that it will help you get towards your goals. Even baby steps will help in this regard.
But also, taking some risks to learn and try something new can pay off big sometimes.
Taking one step back is often required to take two steps forward.
Reading just a couple of books will put you in the top 1% (which is kind of sad). Launching a handful of open source tools based on what you learn puts you into a category of developers numbering in the low thousands. Having a popular open source tool would put you into a category of the top 100 or so developers.
Top tier developers (on any platform) are paid handsomely in our winner-takes-all economy.
It could all start by investing that 20% time into yourself by learning something new and then creating something new.