For some of us learning is a heavy duty, for others, it is a true passion. Either way, probably all of us want to learn different things faster, no matter for what purpose.
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Actually, it is possible. You do not have to sacrifice time that you want to spend with your family or friends, and you don’t have to over exhaust yourself while trying to master a new skill or gain new knowledge. All you have to do is to follow these 10 simple tips that can make you a better and faster learner.
1. Start in the morning or in the afternoon.
It can be hard for us to perceive information well enough while we are barely awake or falling asleep already. That is why you should find some time for learning in the morning when you have already woken up or in the afternoon when you aren’t tired yet. Our brain works the best during the first hours of the day and so it is important to make the most out of it.
2. Find more time.
Of course, for many of us finding time for studies might seem nearly impossible. However, it is not impossible at all: we just have to find a way to optimize our time. For example, you could listen to learning podcasts during your workouts or read a book on your way to work.
Think well about your day: probably you will find some routines that don’t require your full attention and can allow you to concentrate on learning during this time.
3. It is only 20 percent that matter.
Have you ever heard of the Pareto principle? It says that 20 percent of the efforts give 80 percent of the results. It can be applied to different areas of our lives – and, of course, to learning too.
It does not matter how many books you read if you can find all the basics in only one of them. It also does not matter how many words you know if your active vocabulary consists of only 20 percent of them. Find your 20 percent and focus on learning it.
4. Do not spend more than 50 minutes on learning.
Research shows that our brain is able to focus effectively on one task only for 50 minutes maximum – and then it stops perceiving information well. That is why studying for hours is actually bad and not as effective as you might think. Instead, try dividing your learning process into smaller periods of time that don’t exceed 50 minutes – it will work better this way.
5. Stop multitasking.
Multitasking might seem a good skill, but it is not. When we focus on one thing at a time, the result turns out to be better than when we try doing multiple things at a time. Moreover, multitasking actually lowers our ability to focus, so later we can find it hard to concentrate on one thing for too long. That’s why you should quit this habit as soon as possible.
6. Learn in the most comfortable way.
We all have our preferred ways of learning. Some find it easier to memorize visual information, some like to listen, and some prefer to write everything down or try it on practice immediately. If you start learning something and find it hard, maybe you’re doing it the wrong way? Lucky for us, today we have all the necessary tools to learn in any way that seems the most comfortable and effective to us – so all you have to do is to choose an appropriate tool.
7. Chop it into pieces.
Sometimes it can be hard for us to master a big amount of information. In this case, you should try dividing it into pieces: for example, if you have to learn 100 words by the end of the week, try learning 15 of them every day. This will be much easier than trying to learn all 100 at one time.
The same goes for books: if you have 400 pages to read but don’t have much time for that, promise yourself to read at least forty a day – this will allow you to finish the book in 10 days without actually spending much time on reading.
8. Take notes.
These days, we have all these modern gadgets that can help us with learning things. Still, you should consider putting them aside for a bit and start taking notes on paper instead. This way, you won’t be distracted by popping messages, notifications, and so on. Moreover, this helps us structure the information (as we write down only the most important things) and memorize it easier.
9. Practice a lot.
Every skill has to be polished with hours of practice in order to be mastered fully. It doesn’t matter what you are learning – how to edit the text well without the help of a professional proofreading service or how to cook Italian food: while the books and video lessons give you the knowledge, practice gives you the real skill. So do not skip it no matter what.
10. Reward yourself.
It is hard to learn something for a long time without proper motivation. Even if you have one, there still could be days when you are too tired or demotivated to continue your learning process. That’s why it is important to evaluate your progress from time to time and to reward yourself for the progress you’ve made.
These days, we have all the necessary learning tools as well as unlimited access to all the information we might need. However, at the same time, some of us can become overwhelmed with this information easily. That’s why I hope that these tips will help you to resist distractions better and to find a way to create your own effective learning routine. If you also have some tips you’re willing to share with us, feel free to do this in the comment section below. And good luck with your learning!