Advertising

How to Learn Anything Fast? Take These 5 Powerful Steps

Advertising
How to Learn Anything Fast? Take These 5 Powerful Steps

Put an average Joe next to someone of success and you’ll find that the latter had more knowledge to get to where they are today.

While there’s only so much time in the day to learn new skills, you can accelerate how fast you learn something. Whether you want to learn a new language, understand real estate, or learn how to start a business, the person who can learn faster will always have the upper hand in life.

So, how to learn anything fast? Here are 5 powerful steps to learn anything faster.

1. Method Beats Hours

When it comes to learning something new, the method will always beat the number of hours you put into something. This isn’t to say that the number of hours isn’t important, but you should choose which method will give you the best results.

For example, let’s say two people were driving from Boston to New York City. It doesn’t matter how skilled or committed the first driver is. If he’s driving a beat-up pickup truck and the second driver has a Ferrari, the first driver will lose.

Advertising

Your method is the vehicle that will become the engine of where you want to go. With anything you want to learn, there will be dozens of available methods to follow, and “experts” to learn from. This means that you want to spend a lot of time understanding who you’re learning from, what credibility they have, and how it fits with your learning style.

2. Apply the 80/20 Rule

As a reader of Lifehack, you’ve probably heard of Pareto’s Law.

It is a concept developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto which explains that 80% of your desired outputs will come from only 20% of your inputs.

best_80-20_Fotor-300x289

    While the exact ratio varies from situation to situation, you’ll find that:

    Advertising

    • 20% of people in your life will lead to 80% of your happiness
    • 20% of your customers will drive 80% of your sales
    • 20% of your learning methods will lead to 80% of your results

    When it comes to learning, it feels like there’s so much we don’t know, so it’s easy to jump around everywhere. This will only lead to wasted time. What you want to do is focus on the one or two things that will drive the needle for what you want to achieve and double down on them.

    For example, if you’re learning Spanish to travel this summer, instead of learning how to write or read, you should learn how to speak Spanish. Or instead of trying to please a dissatisfied customer that’s only paying you $37/month, you should add 10 times more value to a customer that’s paying you $1,000/month.

    3. Learn by Doing

    Immersion is by far the best way to learn anything. And as research shows, it turns out that humans retain:

    • 5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture.
    • 10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
    • 20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
    • 30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
    • 50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
    • 75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
    • 90% of what they learn when they use it immediately.

    Think back to how you learned to play basketball, ride a bicycle, or swim. Instead of watching tutorial videos or reading a textbook on how to do something, the way to learn faster is to get into the trenches and gain experience through making mistakes.

    4. Find a Coach

    From business titans to professional athletes, the people performing at the highest levels all have one thing in common: they have a coach.

    Advertising

    According to best-selling author Seth Godin, there are five reasons you might quit in anything you do:

    • You run out of time (and quit)
    • You run out of money (and quit)
    • You get scared (and quit)
    • You’re not serious about it (and quit)
    • You lose interest (and quit)

    Having a coach allows you to see the blind spots that you couldn’t see before, and guide you through the tough times that inevitably come when you’re learning anything new.

    1-9ofM65sfyVY_V-GFAojdeA

      A coach doesn’t have to cost $1 million a year, like what Tony Robbins charges, or even $1,000. If you’re trying to learn a language, you could have a language coach you work with. If you’re trying to learn an instrument, it could be finding a private teacher to help you.

      The point is, you’re not going at it alone. And having someone that’s keeping you accountable can take you miles further than doing everything yourself.

      Advertising

      5. Process Over Performance

      Doing the work is often the hardest thing for most people. A common mistake people make when they’re learning something new is to focus on performance over process. It’s hard to see any consistent results until you’ve put in a significant amount of work upfront.

      For writers, this is sitting down and writing 500 words a day — no matter how bad it may turn out. For athletes, this is waking up every morning and training — no matter how groggy and sore you feel. For language learners, it’s forcing yourself to speak the language every day — no matter how many mistakes you make or how uncomfortable you may feel.

      “Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” — Woody Allen

      Taking small steps may not sound sexy, but it has been the proven path to follow for anything you’ll want to achieve in your life and business.

      More Learning Hacks

      Featured photo credit: Anna Earl via unsplash.com

      Advertising

      More by this author

      Sean Kim

      Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

      10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

      Trending in Learning

      1 23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use 2 10 Remarkable Traits of Successful Learners 3 10 Powerful Learning Hacks to Boost Your Learning Ability 4 How to Stop Information Overload and Get More Done 5 How to Become an Expert (And Spot out One Nearby)

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on August 11, 2021

      23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

      Advertising
      23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

      Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless. Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent, free online education awaits on the following 23 sites.

      1. Coursera

      Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

      Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

      Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups. However, the free courses are now quite limited, so you’ll have to

      2. Khan Academy

      Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well-organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

      Among the more well-known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly user-friendly, which may make it easier to keep learning goals. If you’re looking for a free online education, you can’t go wrong with Khan Academy.

      3. Open Culture Online Courses

      If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos, and podcasts from universities around the world.

      The site features a lot of material found only on universities’ private sites, all in easy-to-browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses without having to visit and search each university’s site.

      Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales, and many state universities around the United States. It’s a very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

      4. Udemy 

      Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

      Advertising

      Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top-quality content. This is another site, however, that mixes free and paid content.

      5. Lifehack Fast Track Class

      Lifehack believes in skills that multiply your time, energy, and overall quality of life.

      In this rapidly changing world, traditional education skills just don’t cut it anymore. You can’t afford to take years learning a skill you’ll never really practice. Besides offering some paid courses that will help you become a better self, it offers a list of free courses which aim to train some of the Core Life Multipliers including:

      These are cross-functional skills that work across many aspects of life.

      6. Academic Earth

      Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

      Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

      7. edX

      Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics from universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley, meaning a high-quality, free online education is entirely possible here.

      8. Alison

      Unlike the previous sites on this list, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

      It’s a great option if users need a professional certificate for their learning, as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

      9. iTunesU Free Courses

      A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

      Advertising

      Desktop users can access iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

      Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including by genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos and paid content.

      iTunesU does include courses on a variety of topics, but it does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

      10. Stanford Online

      Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session-based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

      Stanford Online is a great site for high-quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school. If you’re looking for free courses, make sure to mark the “free” option on the left-hand side.

      11. Open Yale Courses

      Open Yale Courses echoes Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses but learn better by watching than by reading.

      12. UC Berkeley Class Central

      Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but it includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts, and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

      13. MIT OpenCourseWare

      Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, and it includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

      14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

      Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list. However, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics, but for the topics that are covered, impressive, in-depth material is available.

      15. Codecademy

      Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

      Advertising

      The courses at Codecademy are well-written and easy to follow, and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, and it organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

      16. Code

      Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high-quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

      In addition to kid-friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics, and Javascript.

      Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

      17. University of Oxford Podcasts

      The University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

      The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. This is another great site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

      18. BBC Podcasts

      For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

      Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

      19. TED-Ed

      Another great destination for more general learning and free online education is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all-encompassing, motivational web series comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

      Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, but it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

      Advertising

      20. LessonPaths

      LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high-quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

      21. Memrise

      Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

      Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

      22. National Geographic Kids

      The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid-friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keep kids interested on this site.

      National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

      23. Fun Brain

      Fun Brain is another great option for kids looking for free online education, as it focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game-based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

      Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and it is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

      The Bottom Line

      With so many amazing free online education resources, everyone has the ability to boost their skills and knowledge. Whether you’re interested in picking up some interesting trivia for your next party, improve your resume with some coding or business skills, or become a more well-rounded person, these resources are perfect for you.

      More About Online Learning

      Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

      Read Next