You will learn a lot more when the time is right. One needs to be receptive to knowledge to learn the right lessons. I have found that I learn a lot more from article on interpersonal relationships when I am working with someone I don’t get and am looking for solutions.
I would say that same holds for many soft skills. You wont understand the articles on making good presentation unless you have to prepare one on a complex topic and present it to a large diverse crowd.
I feel the optimal strategy to learn is to make best use of the difficult situations. I do not mean that be unprepared, but when faced with a difficult situation make the most of it by thinking of it as a learning opportunity.