Learning quickly and effectively is the reality of the 21st century. As Leonardo da Vinci noted, the world is arranged in such a way that people everywhere find things worth learning. And now everything is changing as fast as possible, so you have to acquire new knowledge in turbo mode, mastering several subjects in a week.
These tips will help speed up the learning process and unlock opportunities you didn’t even know you had.
Create a Learning Playlist
Feeling like it’s time to learn something new or solidify your knowledge? Calm background music will not only create the right atmosphere, but it will also reduce your exposure to stress.
That’s the conclusion reached by experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Studies show that listening to calm songs while studying can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels.
- Erases feelings of discomfort due to an overly strict or inappropriate environment. For example, if you have to study in the office after work or sit in the kitchen of your home, music will keep you from being distracted by your surroundings.
- It helps you remember the details of the lesson. If at a certain stage of learning, you encounter a difficult wording or term that doesn’t fit in your head in any way, play your favorite song. The next time the difficult moment will be associated with it. And who knows, maybe it will save you from cramming for the exam?
Set the Right Goals From the Start
First, understand what it is you want to learn, and only then think about how to achieve it. You have formulated your goal correctly if it includes:
- The subject of your goal.
- The timeframe in which you are ready to achieve it.
- A reason – why this goal is important.
For example: “I want to improve my Japanese to the Advanced level so I can go to Japan and do an internship at Toyota. I’m giving myself a deadline of 3 months to do this.”
When you have a clear goal, visualize it. This is a powerful tool, with his help, we assume that we can translate the desired into reality.
Visualization is a kind of training for our brain. Scientists have found: when a person imagines that he reaches some goal, the brain interprets these images as reality and creates new neural pathways to support it.
The term “metacognition” first appears in a treatise by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. This practice involves not only our understanding of the material we have covered, but also an analysis of the process. In simple words, through metacognition, the student can reflect on the learning process itself.
By applying this practice, you will learn to suspend your first impression of the lesson, to question your own knowledge, and to evaluate exactly how you are managing to learn the material.
How It Works
Imagine that you are a novice investor who is learning to analyze the risks of future investments. What do you already know about investments and stock markets, and is that knowledge up to date? What steps do you need to go through during your training? Will you read professional books, find a mentor or sign up for an online trading platform to learn everything hands-on?
By answering these questions, you will be able to understand exactly how your mind works during your training and develop a universal method of learning that can be applied to other areas as well.
It’s best to take notes about the learning process, armed with a notebook and pen.
Test Your Motivation
“Why am I learning this and how will I apply my knowledge?” – is the most important question with which to begin any study. The best results come from the person who recognizes that the new skills will be useful to them in practice. Then the student feels motivated throughout the process. It’s important to understand what role learning plays for you personally.
Such an attitude is less likely to motivate:
“I’m studying mathematics because my older brother got a PhD in mathematics and that’s what my parents want.”
And in a case like this, the student will take it on with more enthusiasm:
“I work in sales. I was recently offered a promotion, but my manager and I realized that for my new position I lacked sales skills in various methodologies. The promotion was postponed for three months. Now I am studying to pass an internal exam in the company, get positive feedback from the manager, and grow in my position.”
Look for the Connection Between Existing Knowledge
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato is the author of the doctrine of recall. It boils down to the fact that when a person is born, his mind already has knowledge about the world around him. Later we learn something new, but according to Plato, we only recall what we already knew.
In the modern world there are no barriers to learning – it’s available to everyone, you can get skills quickly and in any field. But the essence of Plato’s teachings is still relevant – there is a connection between different knowledge. When you choose a subject to master, try to connect it to something that you knew before, but did not focus on it.
If you’re studying strategies for betting on Bet22, use existing facts related to it. They will help deepen your understanding of the subject. For example:
- What historical factors contributed to the emergence of a particular sport?
- Who first used the term “betting”? What is known about this person?
- When was the first bet placed?
Develop a Growth Mindset
The more you believe you are capable of learning, the faster you will be given new knowledge. This is called a growth mindset.
According to a study by the American ASCD community, which studies and improves learning, there are two types of students:
- They have a standard mindset. They make no effort to get things done and feel silly when they have to work hard.
- Have formed a growth mindset. These students spare no effort. They recognize that even geniuses need to work hard to develop their abilities.
Work Harder, Rely Less on Talent
Psychologist Dean Keith Simonton argues that talent is merely a set of personal abilities or predispositions to do something. It can accelerate the acquisition of experience or enhance performance in learning a subject in which a person has an aptitude.
According to Positive Psychology experts, talent is useless if we don’t aspire to it. You can have a unique voice, but never make it to the stage, sitting on the couch for days. It’s hard work, not talent, that is the indicator of our intellectual ability.
A person may have an innate gift, but he can develop it in himself through hard work. The key concept here is experience. Our predispositions to anything can grow into great projects, scientific discoveries or works of art if we make progress toward the goal little by little every day.
Remember that Albert Einstein didn’t start talking until he was four years old, Walt Disney was once fired from his job because he had a poor imagination, and Thomas Edison was dyslexic, meaning he had trouble reading. But that didn’t stop Edison from becoming one of the greatest inventors of his century.
Use All Your Senses
The more knowledge our brain stores, the more it creates connections between it and our senses. We learn to dance with our eyes, learn a foreign language with our ears, and distinguish between different kinds of coffee with our senses of taste.
When mastering a new subject, try to activate these connections by focusing all of your attention on the material. For example:
- Carefully examine the title, pictures, and tables in the text.
- Use mind maps to visualize the information.
- Write out your notes for the material.
- Listen to an audio lesson for this text or a similar topic.
- Take a walk while reading or listening to the material.
- Try reading the most difficult sections aloud, so you’ll remember the information faster.
Don’t Be Afraid to Look Stupid
Lao Tzu said: hoping constantly to get people’s approval, you will forever become their prisoner. Feeling stupid while learning is normal, although to many this fact may seem like an unpleasant prospect.
Think about what exactly makes you feel stupid when you want to learn something quickly? Your mistakes? Or the emotional pain and shame you may feel from making blunders?
For our brains to develop, it’s necessary to experience this kind of pain. This chain – achievement, failure, and achievement again – allows the brain to form new connections and skills. And experience is the first thing on which knowledge is based.
So allow yourself to be silly for a while. Think not about the people who will laugh at your unsuccessful attempts to learn something, but about yourself and why it’s so important for you to achieve your goal.
Reward Yourself for Your Efforts and Relax
When we know that hours of learning will be followed by a reward, it’s more pleasant to get to work. This is because the happiness hormone dopamine is produced in our brains at the beginning of the lesson. It forms the connection between the activity and the small prize we get afterwards.
Think of a better way to reward yourself. It could be:
- A fruit smoothie after a workout.
- A favorite movie after class.
- A hot shower or bath.
- A new book by a favorite author.
- A short afternoon nap.
Do whatever makes you feel happy, and remember that you have the power to follow through with your training.