As I dive into a new topic, there will likely be many terms and concepts I don't know, or things I don't know the answer to! I write them down as questions, and when I'm not sure what to do next, I pick one and try to find an answer, adding more questions as I go.
Another technique that appeals to me (but which I haven't tried yet) is @email@example.com's "Make 50 of Something"! http://vihart.com/fifty-fizzbuzzes/
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