This one is for each one of you(including me) who is trying hard to grow and learn. Below are a few guiding principles to help you define an effortless learning process. It works even better if you go through the preceding articles in this series or at least this science-y stuff
Long term vs Short term memory
- long term - created by repeated learning - like faces of your friends, flag of your country, driving skills, etc.
- put fundamental concepts and principles in long term memory by practicing them at regular intervals
- short term - things you memorize for a short term purpose - like a small list of tasks you have to do today .
- goal - move important concepts from short term memory to long term using spaced repetition - repeat a concept after a few days or once a day
- to memorize something you just learned, associate it with a long term memory.
- Here's the science
Active vs passive learning
- watching other people demonstrate things or reading a book - passive (easy and inefficient)
- taking notes, practicing, problem solving, tests - active (difficult but stronger)
- Some passive resources to explore further
- Extrinsic - money, fame, new job - getting recognized for your efforts
- Intrinsic - autonomy(control), mastery, purpose - having an internal drive to do something
- Long term learning motivation is always intrinsic.
- Kaizen - continuous, small, incremental improvement
- small steps compound over a long term
- Set SMART goals
- S - Specific
- Get Healthy < Lose weight < Lose 10 Pounds
- M - Measurable
- Reliable way of measuring progress
- A - Actionable
- Clarity of actions required to achieve it
- If actions are not clear, break down the main goal into actionable sub-goals
- R - Relevant
- Should add value when achieved
- Prioritize Low Effort and High Value goals
- Use 80/20 Pareto principle
- T - Time-bound
- Lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks
- Define milestones and assign a date to it
- S - Specific
- Goal setting is an ongoing process of action, evaluation and revision.
- A small video to summarize this.
Pays not to be busy all the time
- Be surrounded by people you like to relax your brain.
- Healthy/leisurely time is key to better functioning of the brain.
- Learn with ease and do not rush through it
- Read more
- learn in chunks - fundamental pieces of knowledge
- combine chunks to fill the missing pieces and complete your learning
- bottom up approach of learning
- Sequential problems - focus mode
- Intuition or creative solutions - diffuse mode
- you can have temporary frustration when you think you are not growing in a area
- Deliberate practice needs:
- Specific goals - define the edge of your limits - where do you want to get to
- Intense focus - work towards it in focused sessions
- Immediate feedback - once you reach your goal get feedback from mentors or peers about where you are and what could be better
- Feel frequent discomfort - when you are not where you need to be
- Start with a discomfort zone and try to bridge the gap. Once you reach a comfort zone, get feedbacks for improvement and define the next step.
- The better you get at something, the more enjoyable it becomes.
- Feedback and discomfort will keep you motivated to get even better.
- Turns your potential into your reality
- Some help from Japan
Spaced repetition and habits
- learn in small sessions
- repeat periodically to make your concepts stronger
- forming habits allows you to learn effortlessly
saves you a lot of mental energy required to
- decide what to do when
- focus on how to do it. E.g. How much focus do you need to brush your teeth?
- Form habits which help you learn so that you do not have to answer the same questions everyday
- Where to sit while I learn?
- What time should I start?
- How much time should I give it?
- Where should I take notes?
- Try new and exciting things regularly to keep your mind active
- Do not get into a monotonous mode. It kills your creativity
Have an endpoint to your work and occasionally get bored
- When you're doing something with focus, have an idea of when you are going to stop and take a break.
- Also applies to when to stop working each day.
- Learn to get bored instead of looking at your phone - gives your brain a pause - gives you self reflection time