Learning and learning how to learn is a skill in its self. As Henry Ford said ” anyone that stops learning is old”. Learning can have a tremendous impact on your life, however it is a skills that no one teaches us in schools.
Having gone to medical school I have had my share amount of Nights cramming material, But the drawback to this is that you get to memorize stuff only for a short period of time and in the long run you don’t remember much.
If you know how the learning process works, you can study more efficiently and remember what you’ve learned for a long time. one major misconception is that learning happens for exams, in reality we are constantly studying new things, and learning is a daily activity learning can can give you a competitive advantage in an ever-changing World.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin
Learning is mostly preparation, prior to setting up a task its important to outline the main tools, books and material you need to effectively learn something. You should spend a decent amount of time figuring out what you need to prepare for, the background research behind what you are actually going to learn.
Before starting any learning activity its important to, 3 key questions:
- WHY– Why do I want to learn this?
- WHAT–What concepts and facts do I need?
- HOW — How am I going to learn this skill?
Once you answer these questions, make a detailed plan of your learning journey.
One of the most limiting beliefs about learning new skills is that you need to be smart, you need to be born with a certain skill set. Actually we can learn anything we just need to put in the effort.
How To Focus While Studying
When it come to learning focus is a key component to not only understand the information you are reading but keeping and retaining that informtion. Focused learning should take place one thing at a time. Multitasking is a myth, by doing two things at a time one becomes unproductive and inefficient.
For example, watching TV while learning How to code is a bad idea. The information just won’t stick in your head.
Learning requires focus and we should our brain energy on the thing or task we are learning. One of the major issues with this is a lack of motivation to start learning, Here a simple rule can be used, this is called the 5-minute rule.
The author Scott H. Young in his book UltraLearning describes his journey learning languages. The author spent three months moving around in a new country, where he could only use and speak the native language of that country.
He never used English once, and after three months he was fluent in every language he was trying to learn. How did this guy manage to become fluent in 3months?
The basic way of how to acquire languages in a record period of time is to first understand and gain a solid basic understand of the language, knowing basic vocabulary enough to strike conversations with people. Next is to initiate conversations and immerse yourself by the use of media.
Various YouTube videos are present in the native language of origin this can be used to learn a language faster and gain language skills in a record amount of time. Immersion unlike books exposes you to various words that are actually used in real life.
Watching a Youtube video of a person talking about his job in Japan is much more informative than trying to study sentences that make no sense or are repetitive.
Immersion is key when it comes to learning something fast.
What on earth is active recall? this is a concept that I personally used during medical school days. The idea here is that you learn better by actively trying to recall the information you are trying to learn.
Is basically like taking small mini tests which challenges your knowledge every time you are learning something new. This works by giving your brain the needed space to relax and build the connections needed, One study showed that students when given a pre-test prior to their exam effectively managed to score better then those who just read the class materials.
Active recall can be used anytime, you can try remember the material:
- one hour later
- the next day
- the next week
- the next month
The Hippocampus which is part of our brains involved in the retrieval and formation of memory is essentially activated when we recall memories, this eventually gets stored into the long term memory areas and it becomes increasingly easy to retrieve the information we need.
What active recall is doing here is activating the area of the brain multiple times to put a new information into the long term information areas.
Getting feedback often and as quickly as possible is one of the fastest ways we can learning something faster, here come the old saying learning from mistakes.
sometimes we feel confident enough to show off our newly learnt skills and at first Getting feedback may be a massive blow to your ego. Feedback whether negative or positive might effect us in various ways depending on how we react to it. If you are just starting, getting negative feedback can discourage you from continuing your learning journey.
Hence, it’s important to get praise and encouragement at the beginning. Later on, constructive and critical feedback will be very helpful to make your learning process more efficient.
It is never to late to learn a new skill. The best careers always require some form of complex skills, such skills are unlikely to be obtained by accident. One last batch of advise I can give is that
You can change your destiny through enhanced self-education.