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8 Habits To Help You Learn 100% Faster And Better

8 Habits To Help You Learn 100% Faster And Better

How envious we are of fast learners. They always seem to catch onto everything at a glance while we, the common folks, seem to struggle through the same materials for weeks — at best.

Well, believe it or not, there are always ways to improve your overall learning capabilities and speed. Here, we will present you with 8 tips to help you learn faster and better. Master the following tips and shy away no more when facing any difficulties in your learning.

1. Find a Suitable Environment

An environment creates atmosphere, and an atmosphere changes the world from one end to the other — including our learning experience. That’s not to say that there’s only one ideal environment that is considered the best for learning. We all respond to each environment differently, for the better or the worse.

Find a place that suits your rhythm. If you are not sure where to start looking, then don’t think about it — just start altering your places of study! You can also picture yourself learning in different places to get a general idea of where you should head first.

2. Write it Down

You have been reading through the material, over and over again, for over 45 minutes, when finally you say “Oh! I think I got it!”.

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You ponder on whether you should write it down for yourself, and then you finally conclude: “It’s okay, there’s no way I can forget it now…!”. And with that, you flip the page and continue onto the next subject.

The next morning you wake up and get ready to head out to class. The exam is handed to you and your eyes land on a single question — the one you were preparing for yesterday. You scratch your head and realize… nothing. Everything is gone. So you attempt an answer and hope for the best.

It happens to us all, and there’s one conclusion that can be made. If you want to learn faster, to memorize a concept without going through the material over and over again, you should write down notes of what you just learned, preferably by hand. When you do that, this gives your brain a chance to rehearse what you just learned and help it really sink in.

3. Association of Ideas

In order to learn, particularly something long and complicated, you are always advised to use every tool at your disposal. One of these tools is Mental Associations. Although a complex brain function, the concept is rather simple really. All you have to do is to link new gathered information to information that you already have.

For example, if you consider red an “urgent” or “important” color, you can mark new information that you consider critical with it in your mind. Another example would be to use rhymes for memorizing or even creating a chronological story in your mind. The more you practice, the better you will be at it, making it easier for you to learn new information.

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4. Hit the Brain Gym

Although not technically a muscle, the brain also strengthens the more you use it, in terms of memory, cognitive abilities, and speed. These all serve as enhancers for the next time you sit down and learn.

You can train your brain by learning new things (which is kind of a paradox), so you should pursue new and interesting subjects to study just for fun. Another method is to try online resources that claim to improve your brain function (mostly in the form of fun games).

5. Read… A Lot

It is no secret that many, if not most of our studies, revolve around reading. So it is not strange that a person who reads on a regular basis will also be quicker to read through and understand difficult material than a person who doesn’t share that same habit.

The reason for it is that the more you read, the easier it is for you to absorb written information. Take that plus the fact that you read faster the more you do it, and you are already three times a faster learner than what you were previously.

The tip here is fairly simple. Want to learn faster? Read… a lot.

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6. Make Practical Use of What You Learn

Like everything in life, you do not truly know something until you put it to practical work. You can’t be a doctor just by going through the books, no matter how many times you do it. Want to master the German language? Go live in Germany for a year and communicate with locals using only your rusty German.

In order to truly learn something, you will always need to go out there and utilize that new absorbed information.

7. Learn in a Way That Works For You

There are several ways of learning, or to be more exact, several learning modalities. They go by visual, auditory, reading/writing, and tactile learning. Each of us is more comfortable with some over the others.

Visual learners will prefer visual presentations of the material, either in the form of graphs, pictures, or watching demonstrations.

Auditory learners will prefer lectures, audiobooks, podcasts, and even interviews.

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Reading/Writing learners will prefer to read the information and write down notes for themselves.

Tactile learners will learn best from practicing the material with their own hands.

Adjust yourself to one of these learning modalities and you will find a vast improvement in your progress.

8. Pass Down The Information

“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” — Peter F. Drucker.

Just as the above quote says, you learn and absorb information best when you pass it down to another learner. When you teach someone else what you’ve learned, especially if you do it immediately after learning it, you’ll find that you absorb more information. What’s more, you will also discover the gaps in what you absorbed and be able to go over them accordingly.

Another upside to this habit is that you will also help another person while doing so. And that’s a good reason in itself.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 30, 2020

Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

Effective vs Efficient

Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

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The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

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  • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
  • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
  • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

Efficiency in Success and Productivity

Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

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The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

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By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

Bottom Line

Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

  • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
  • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
  • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

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Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
[2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
[3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

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