Today’s world is evolving faster than ever. To withstand competition in business and not to surrender positions, you will have to learn new skills and absorb new information constantly. The key to success is continuous learning. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to charge your brain and quickly master any skill. Here are tips to help you maximize your abilities.
Not less than 30 and not more than 50 minutes
Entrepreneurs are often inclined to expect the worst and in an attempt to cover up all of the rears, they are exhausted from exploring new information for hours and days. According to research, our brain very quickly “burns out” if it is overloaded. A professor at Louisiana State University Ellen Dunn explains that “30 minutes is not enough to study, but more than 50 is too much. The brain does not absorb this amount of information at once”. Make sure your lessons do not last too long and use speed learning methods, such as didactic cards. Between lessons, you need to take at least a 10-minute break to give the brain a break.
The Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, was developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who found out that 20% of farms produce 80% of the crop in Italy.
These days, Productivity guru Tim Ferriss has proposed a modern approach to this rule to speed up the learning process. He says that, first of all, you need to focus on the most important 20% of the material studied – in fact, they contain 80% of the necessary knowledge. If you are learning a foreign language, ask yourself – what are 20% of words used in 80% of cases?
Avoid doing everything at once
Our brain is like a computer – if several tabs are open in the browser, they clog up the RAM and reduce the speed of running processes. Studies have shown that performing multiple tasks simultaneously reduces the quality of the result. When something distracts you, it takes an average of 25 minutes to fully return to work. This is a big waste of time. In our age, it is especially difficult to concentrate on something, so before lessons, it is important to put off the phone and close the mail. Multitasking slows down learning and keeps the brain from working at full capacity.
Use different teaching methods
Reconsolidation of memory is the process of “rewriting” memories under the influence of new knowledge and information. It plays a key role in reinforcing acquired skills and learning. A study by Johns Hopkins University showed that “if you change a task a little each time you start to do it, you will master it more quickly — this is much more effective than repeating the same things over and over again.”
Think about how to change the methods of self-study. If today you are learning from didactic cards, then, tomorrow, listen to a lecture or watch a webinar. This will help your brain to assimilate information and, at the right time, to remember it faster.
Learn from the masters
In his book “The Master of the Game”, Robert Greene emphasizes that in studying a new case, a competent mentor is needed. He speaks of “perfect apprenticeship,” noting that the advice of people who have already mastered the skills you need is especially valuable. The word “apprenticeship” can cause associations with the Middle Ages when blacksmith mentors recruited apprentices to the workshop. But in the information age, you can organize training on YouTube, Skype or even through special services. And believe me — others are happy to help young professionals in their endeavors.
Write by hand
Princeton University and the University of California at Los Angeles found out that manual recording helps to listen more attentively and highlight the most important. The laptop, in turn, significantly automates the process, which contributes to the dispersion of attention — especially if Facebook is open in the next tab. Close the laptop and, at the time of the study, get a good old pen and notebook. When you take notes, write down only the most important — do not write verbatim.
Get your mind on long time learning
We all know the feeling when there is no more time, money or desire for something new — and we give up. Entrepreneur and economist Seth Godin calls this a “pit” — when delight in learning a new case fades and the routine begins. The best way to avoid the pit is to prepare for it and know that, sooner or later, this stage will inevitably come. As Steve Jobs once said, “half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from losers is perseverance.” Remember that learning something new is not a sprint, but a marathon. Success awaits those who have patience and will not retreat.