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Edwin Torres
Edwin Torres

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🤯 Learning to learn

Recently I've started a huge personal challenge that I will describe with more details in the next months, however a really critical part of this challenge is, How can I learn faster?. Well, I've bought a really nice course in Udemy, Learning to learn by Andrei Neagoie and these are my notes.

Also I want to mention that I love the productivity stuffs, and I admire people like Bill Gates, and Tim Ferris.

You can also read the original article here

The principles

  1. The method of Loci about memory enhacement.
  2. Learning vs Winning to the system, by Paul Grahan
  3. What is success?. This is subjective meaning, however it can be achieved with the next characteristics.
    • Drive
    • Persistence
    • Going a good learner
  4. The obstacle & The dip
    1. Seth Godin
    2. Sometimes we have to know when to turn around and pick the right path in order to use our resources efficiently.
  5. Compound learning
    1. The principle behind is: You don’t have to dedicate many hours one day to learning something, you need instead to learning at least 20 - 30 minutes per day, everyday to compound the learning in your mind.
    2. Improve by 1% a day, and in 70 days you’re twice a good. - Alan Wiss P.h D
  6. Failures don’t count on you
    1. Every time you make a mistake, any time you fail you are learning, it gives you feedback on why you should do next time.
  7. Choice vs Chore
    1. Chores are temporary and they won’t last long, but if you start to shift your focus and realize that learning is a choice you can not do anything today
  8. It’s all in the frame.
    1. Not everything in life is objective, rather than is subjective and everything depends of perspective, so we can reframe that.
    2. Shift your focus, shift your perspective on you can control, instead of you can not control.
  9. Pareto principle
    1. Also know as the 80/20 rule. The law of vital few.
    2. 80 percent of sales comes from 20 percent of clients.
    3. 80 percent of code comes from 20 percent of programmers.
    4. It’s about eliminating things.
    5. Composition by Pietro monad. $50 Million Dollars
    6. Is this the best use of my time?
  10. Skill Staking
    • Mastering by Robert Greene says there are 3 keys.
      1. Curiosity
      2. Value of learning
      3. Staking your skills in different unique ways.
    • For example, if you are a programmer and you combine your programming skills with business skills, or communication skills you will be more valuable.
    • It’s not about being the greatest in one thing, you just need to be pretty good at list of useful skills that when combined, make you truly one of a kind.
  11. Happiness Factors
    • To be an efficient learner, you need to enjoy what you’re doing to learning.
    • What are the things that make you happy in your life?
    • Create monitor factors and monitor them.
  12. Productivity time
    • What is your most productivity time? Morning ? Night ?
    • Every person is different and your job is to figure out what your productivity times are.
  13. Self learning paradigm
    1. The core of self learning, is this idea of personal autonomy to become a self learner and efficient learner.
    2. This is a choice you have to make, based on your mainly motivation.

The lies

There are a couple of lies in the world and the learning process you need to know.

  1. Follow your passion
    • Become so good they can't ignore you by Carl Newport.
    • Passion is simple overrated, many people who actually love what they do don’t have a passion for it.
    • More than passion you need creativity, control and impact. Learning is a craft and you can learn to love the process.
  2. You can avoid risk
    • Risk is part of the process, and you have to be able to tolerate and enjoy taking risk.
    • If you really want to be good, you need to stretch your boundaries, and people who don’t take risks in their life, are going to be left behind by those that take risk.
  3. Trust this one person
    • Don’t follow one single person and think that everything he or she says is true, and is right for us.
    • Each person give advices based on the experiences in their life.
    • Create your option based on different opinions and your own experiences, because there can be charlatans.
    • The people who tell you that they know everything are often the ones that know the least.
  4. 10.000 hours rule
    • It’s a popular rule by Malcom Gladwell, however is not totally true.
    • The more you practice the better you get, but it means that you won’t need at least 10.000 hours to achieve it.
    • Remember there are a lot of variables that makes difference in this topic ( Genetic, Environment, Country). And stay focus is more relevant.

The Pillars

  1. Everything is a game
    • One of the most important pillar to being an efficient learner.
    • Everything you do or you want to learn, cab be learned, there is where the growth mindset is really important and the game to create a strategy makes sense.
    • If you have the Locus of control, you start being aware you have the control of your life and the are prepared to be a better learner.
  2. Feyman Technique
    • It was mentioned by Richard Feynman, a famous Novel Prize in Physicist
    • You need to explain the things you learn in the most simple way. The idea is to become in a good learner to understand a topic you want to be able to explain it in simple terms.
  3. Trunk based knowledge
    • Instead of working from the leafs we should start learning at the roots at the trunk and form that trunk in those leafs.
    • If you want to have a long term learning, you should start from the principles, fundamentals at that topic.
    • Article Be Prepared To Lose Your Job In The Future… If You Don’t Learn This One Skill Now
  4. Efficiency trumps grit
    • Being busy just shows that you have lack of time management skills and you’ll discover that efficient learning isn’t about being the absolute hardest worker, it’s about being smart with your time. 🙈
    • We have limited time in our life, we have limited skills that we can acquire in our life. So we want to be as efficient as possible with our time.

The Science

  1. Focus vs Diffuse mode
    • Barbara Oakey learning how to learn . Two states that our brain can be in: Focus and Diffuse mode.
    • Focus mode, our brain has the 100% of attention in one thing. It activates the prefrontal cortex in your brain.
    • Diffuse mode, your brain is thinking in several things. It activates many regions in your brain. Things like going for a talk or even sleeping.
    • As you can’t become expert overnight the best strategy is combine the two modes creating connections and Myelin. So multitasking is an awful strategy.
  2. The Science of sleep
    • For long term learning, lack of sleep is just a horrible strategy, because it creates toxic products in our brain.
    • When you sleep your brain actually cell shrink and fluids flow through these gaps and they clear these toxins for you.
    • The idea is to find a balance, don't sleep too much, and don't sleep too little.
  3. Brain Training
    • When two neurons are connected this is call synapses.
    • The brain is like a muscle, never has the same state.
    • Physical exercise creates estimates and help our brain, because relax it and makes the brain stays in the diffuse mode.
  4. The Science of feedback
    • Feedback is an integral part of learning. Either be positive or negative. However, getting negative feedback indicates, what we need to fix.
    • Here is the importance of mentors or coaches that can accelerate your learning.
  5. Procrastination
    • Procrastination is an issue with managing our emotion and not our time.
    • To get rid of procrastination we need to take the initiative and start doing the task.
    • This is a useful tool to control our procrastination in Internet.
  6. Short and Long term memory
    • Long term memory is created by practice and practice, like riding bicycle. Usually you put fundamental concepts and principles that guide your life.
    • Short term memory is also known as working memory. To move from the Short term memory to Long term memory, you can use spaced repetition technique (several days).
    • Article about those concepts.
  7. Active and Passive Learning
    • Passive learning is when you do the easy things, like watch videos, listen podcast or just reading something.
    • Active learning involves the practice, take notes, take action, teach to someone.
    • The idea behind is combine them. Passive + Active. One hour of test is better than one hour of studying.
  8. The Science of Motivation
    • Intrinsic motivation: Things you believe or you are. Three main motivators Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.
    • External motivation: Things like money, status, gifts. This extrinsic motivation can generate side effects.
  9. Goals
    • Amygdala is the part of our brain which handles our emotions and detects fear. And when there is something huge or challenging it can allow us to run or fight.
    • Robert Maurer in his book the Kaizen Method. Wrotes that the idea is to take a big challenge in small steps day by day, to hack the amygdala and eliminates the fear.
    • A nice technique is to use SMART goals. Here video describe how to properly set goals or you can review this detail guide about SMART goals.
  10. It pays to not be busy
    • Nowadays in this world being busy means “good” but, at the end it shows a lack of management time.
    • We have a region in the brain called the hippocampus which is crucial for learning, and if we want to strengthen the neurons there we need to do exercise, then if we are busy we won’t find time to it.
  11. Chunking
    • When we focus on something we create chunks of knowledge, we create patterns and connect them with existing patterns.
    • Bottom up learning and Top down learning, to connect chunks, creating a mind map.
  12. How to solve problems
    • This is the most demand skill guarantee for the next 20 years (even more years). Because people pay for solving problems, and if you have a unique skill to solve problems you become more valuable.
    • Some problems requires you stay in focus mode for structured problems or diffuse mode for intuitive or creative problems.
  13. Deliberate practice
    • The most effective and most powerful types of practice in any field work by harnessing the adaptability of the human body and brain to create, step by step, the ability to do things that were previously not possible. Taken rom this article .
    • Anders Ericsson wrote a book about learning.
    • Deliberate practices is we are right on the edge of our limits, and then come back and practice until get a level up, and repeat that cycle. Masters can visualize and create experience in their minds.
    • To get deliberate practice we need to define specific goals, intense focus, immediate feedback. It takes place outside of comfort zone.
    • The good news are, the better you get at something the more enjoyable it becomes.
  14. Spaced repetition
    • Repeat things after few days is the best way to build strengthen the synaptic connections in our neurons.
    • A wonderful comic about spaced repetition.
  15. Habits as energy savers
    • Research has shown that writing your daily list the evening before such as your goals actually helps to accomplish your goals the next day.
    • The habits saves energy to your brain, because you don’t have to think too much about the thing you’re doing. It becomes easier and easier.
  16. Be adventurous
    • We remember things when we’re in an adventurous state when our emotions are high.
  17. Have and endpoint
    • Define an end-point and an end-point to finish something that helps your brain to stay focus.
  18. Be bored
    • To be bored sometimes is good, given it allows that diffuse mode of thinking happens.
    • This video explains the importance to be bored

The Techniques

  1. Pomodoro Technique
    • This technique was developed by Francisco Cirillo
    • 25 minutes on (no interruptions) focus, 5 minutes off. 25 minutes focus mode, 5 minutes diffuse mode.
    • Here you can find some options to use the pomodo online.
  2. Chunk the subject
    • Chunking is related to habits to get the autopilot. Each chunk of knowledge leads to further and further progress.
    • Here comes the technique Divide and Conquer.
    • Some examples are, Dueling for language learning, Khan Academic for Maths, and this one about computation.
  3. Spaced repetition revised
    • Over-learning = not good, so you need to take some breaks and repeat again after.
    • After certain point those neuron connection get strong enough that don’t have to repeat as often. This is called as brain consolidation.
  4. Dliberated practice revised
    • Doing the things that are hard but also work smart.
    • The idea of deliberate practice is to avoid the the easy stuffs and then take challenging projects. Expanding our comfort zone.
  5. Create a roadmap
    • Define your goals is really important to understand why are you learning something. This should be aligned with your internal motivations / intrinsic motivations.
    • Once you have identified your goal, create a roadmap with the strategy to achieve it. Be careful and select the best content and resource in your road.
    • These are tools to create your roadmap. Coggle and Miro.
  6. Interleaving
  7. Einstellung
    • Here is the Einstellung effect
    • It’s a rigid mindset where you don’t use new ideas to solve problems.
    • To solve that problem you need to accept there is other points and alternatives to solve a problem.
  8. Importance of community
    • Stay and community and share similar things, getting motivation from others and receive feedback it’s really valuable in your learning process.
    • You’re the average of the five people you hang out with most, so be surrounded by people that you like to be.
  9. Habits revised
  10. System vs Goals
  11. The power of the Senses
    • The senses play an important role in the memories.
    • Humans are bad remembering facts, but are good remembering stories and emotions. So try to be stimulated and your senses.
    • Create analogies or metaphors in your mind.
  12. Method of Loci
  13. Pareto Principle
    • What the critical skills are needed to accomplish something in the most efficient way.
    • The Pareto Principle is about of selection, If you focus in the 20% of the most relevant things you will get the 80% of results.
    • If you want to learn any language here is the Pareto Principle in action
  14. Parkinson's Law
    • Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
    • If you put deadlines you can get the benefits of Parkinson’s Law.
    • Deep work by Carl Newport
  15. Stakes and Rewards
    • Focus on small rewards system. Intrinsic vs extrinsic.
    • This is a community to focus on your Stakes
  16. Concepts vs Facts
    • Concepts are more important than facts. Facts are easy to find in Google, but concepts are high-level topics.
    • That’s why is more important to get the foundations and the concepts. Trunk-based learning.
  17. Test Yourself
    • You need to practice and put yourself into your limits. Active learning.
    • You need to quiz yourself and to be honest about what have you learned.
  18. The first 20 hours and ultra learning.

PS: If you want to take the course, you can use this link
Learning to Learn in ZTM.

Cheers and keep learning! 🍻

Top comments (4)

chivongv profile image
Chi Vong

Great resources! Thanks for sharing

codesandtags profile image
Edwin Torres

You're welcome Chi Vong! 😃

phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

Nice! I'm always happy to learn how to learn. Thanks!

codesandtags profile image
Edwin Torres

Thanks Matthieu! I'm glad to share this kind of content. 💪🏼