Can you really teach yourself how to learn faster? Can you use your brain more effectively to increase the speed in which you process information, as you would for a computer when you change the hardware? My answer YES, and today we’ll talk about some of the best techniques that will teach you How to Learn Faster!
Have a goal in mind
I have mentioned, in several articles on this blog, the importance of having goals and clarity to obtain the results you want to achieve, and the same rules apply to learning.
First, you need to know why you want to learn a new skill, so ask yourself: How will learning this new skill improve my life? What will I gain if I acquire this new skill?
Questions like these will help you increase your motivation for learning the new skill and will increase your chances of success.
Model the excellence
As Tony Robbins says: “The surest way to achieve success is to model someone who is already successful. If you do not have good role models, find someone who is the best in your chosen field and emulate them. You do not need to reinvent the wheel – simply learn from the best “.
In a competitive era like this, no one can afford to make mistakes, and the best way to learn and master a new skill is to find someone who already excels in it and replicate his results.
Learn from multiple sources of information
One of the great rewards of the internet and new technologies, is that we have the chance to learn and ingest information through various sources (e.g. videos on youtube, podcasts, blogs, audio books, and so on) and this has proven to be one of the most effective methods to learn, as you stimulate different parts of the brain and the information is processed and retained more efficiently.
For example, if you are getting ready for an exam or you need to prepare yourself for a presentation at work, you could prepare yourself by watching videos on youtube, using flashcards, repeating the information out loud, listening to recordings, and writing notes by hand.
Learn by getting immediate feedback
Another very effective way to learn quickly is to use feedback.
Using feedback from people who have already achieved what you want to achieve will help you move in the right direction, minimizing any chance of errors.
Utilize the “Pareto principle” to “deconstruct” the skill
The “Pareto Principle” (also known as the 80-20 rule), was invented by Vilfredo Pareto in Italy, in 1906.
It stated that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the effort.
For example, 80% of sales come from 20% of my clients.
Or, 80% of my knowledge comes from 20% of the books I read or the models that I choose.
With this principle in mind, your goal should be to learn the 20%, that is the most important about something that will get you 80% of the results you want to achieve.
Returning to the example of guitar lessons, if I want to learn to play the guitar it is important that I concentrate on learning the most common notes that will allow me to play 80% of the songs.
In an hectic era, such as the one we live in, where you think that multitasking is the most important thing to master, you may be surprised by this advice.
But apparently (as demonstrated by several scientific studies), the act of focusing on multiple tasks simultaneously is not only unproductive, but also harmful to the effective functioning of our brain, and can lead us to increase the chance of errors.
Solution: Focus your mind on one task at a time.
Testing is important!
The use of tests is proven to be one of the most effective ways for learning and has always been one of my favorite ways to prepare for an exam.
The actual process of taking tests can help to retain information in the long term.
Nowadays there are many websites where you can prepare for free through flashcards, multiple choice tests, or other types of tests.
Go to the gym
If you have no excuse for not going to the gym, this is an additional reason to motivate yourself to go.
It has been scientifically proven that physical activity improves memory and learning.
You need now to understand what Seth Godin calls “the Dip”.
Whenever you are trying to learn new skills, there is always a learning curve, whenever you start something new there is always a feeling of euphoria that accompanies these moments, justified by the release of dopamine, then when the initial phase begins to decay we are in “the Dip” stage, and it is in these moments that is easy to lose motivation.
Many drop out a few steps from the finish line, but if only they had been more persistent they would have made great victories.
Whatever you want to learn, remember that there are no limits to what you can achieve, so the next time you’re under stress, remember not to give up because you’re just a few steps from the finish.
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