Although you acquire knowledge all through your basic education, high school, colleges, or university, the possibility that you have forgotten what you have learned is great. Skills are very important as they bring us more opportunities, but those skills amount to nothing if you do not practice them or use them often
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Ten ways to learn something new
Identify what you plan on learning: Knowing what you want to learn is first and then comes knowing why you want to learn it, that is called motivation. To learn something new, there should be a specific target and goal. Defining your purpose before learning something new is essential. Having a purpose will steer you through even when it becomes hard, you might back off just like most people do when they have no set priority.
The best place to learn: After finding out what you want to learn, it is important to know where to learn it. There are numerous places to learn something new apart from the knowledge acquired from colleges or universities. The unrestricted access to information from the internet, specifically; the micro-credentials like Coursera, Udemy etc has made life so easy. There are unlimited online courses to help you. Or if you would like more practical and human to human approach, then you will need to seek physical locations to learn the skill.
Study and Practice: After you’ve planned how to learn, what comes next is to study. Studying is one thing, but practice makes perfect. You need to make time for practice, as often as possible regularly, is necessary. You could decide to create a schedule no matter how loose that might be. As long as you can dedicate time to learning and practising, you can become an expert.
Know your mastery level: Everyone knows how quickly they learn things, so you need to know your capacity and how much you need to put in. This will help you know how much effort you need to put in in terms of learning it. It is also an important point to know the level of mastery you want to reach. Do you want to learn just the basics, or would you like to go a bit more and become proficient or would you like to become a pro at the new skill? All these questions must be answered and written out before you take any other step.
The 80/20 principle: After getting your skills listed, you can try to discover the one that would have a better impact on you. Let’s paint this picture; If you plan to learn how to sew, your checklist should narrow down what type of sewing options and style. The 80/20 principle will help you choose which you want to begin with. Applying the 80/20 law, also known as the Principle of Pareto, which implies that “In whatever you do, 20 percent of the effort you put into it gives you 80 percent of the results”. Spend your time on skills that would benefit you the most.
Break down the learning process: To advance, figure out the particular course you need on micro-credentials. Choose your desired area of focus. You may decide to break them into segments and even, into sub-segments to make it easy. Start with the basics first. Learn the everyday points and the little things that make up the big picture. If it’s a language you plan to learn; then your first approach will be to learn words and parts of speech. Then you can move to learn how to incorporate those parts of speech to form a sentence. Break everything down into small bits and tackle each one in progression. Once you learn one thing use it to learn the concept of the other thing. It may require a longer time to learn a particular skill compared to another. This checklist would serve as a guide for you not to pull out soon from what you’re learning.
Use what you learned: When you have constructed a regular practice schedule, it is time to make something out of it. This means that if you are sewing, trying making a complete piece of clothing. If you are learning a language, try speaking it for a whole day. If you are learning to cook, then ensure that you do. You might not get it right the first time, but eventually, you will.
Note your errors: After creating something, observe it. Study it again, as I said earlier, you might not get it right the first time, but that’s fine. Note your mistakes, judge your results, find out what you missed, go back to your books and try to make a mental recount of what went wrong. Once you can note your mistakes you can correct it next time.
Change things up: Once you’re equipped with the knowledge, don’t just ignore it. Modify it into something new. Learn to do the old thing in a new way. This will make you more acceptable than doing what you’ve known for. Make variations in whatever you do.
Become a teacher or Mentor: At the initial stage of discovering the area you want to be an expert in, you may have needed a coach, mentor or teacher. This is because they are vital in guiding you, and it is also a way for them to keep learning. In the same way, once you get to a proficient level, you should become a teacher for those who are new to the skill, this will help you advance and keep you updated on the skill.
Learning new things requires commitment, dedication, and, most importantly, constant practice. When these things are put into play, learning becomes easy along with motivation. If this post has met your needs, then show your love by liking, sharing, and commenting for more informative posts. Also, ensure to subscribe if you haven’t already.
Recommended for further reading:
- Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
- Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
- Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth
- The Self Confidence Workbook: A Guide to Overcoming Self-Doubt and Improving Self-Esteem
- The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation