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Learning Can Be Much Easier If You Follow This 5-Step Approach

Learning Can Be Much Easier If You Follow This 5-Step Approach

Learning a new concept can be a rewarding experience, yet it is frustrating when new information simply floats around in your head without sticking. Often times, we are forced to read a book repeatedly just to get the information to store in our memory.

Learning should not be simply about forced memory, and it should not be a difficult task. The mind is an amazing tool. Luckily, there are powerful methods that can assist us in truly grasping difficult concepts. The ADEPT Method for Learning is a practical approach to improving your brainpower. Incorporate this approach into your way of thinking and use it to learn everything with ease.[1]

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    Start with an Analogy

    A simple trick to improve how we learn is to compare it to something we already know. For example, how would you explain the function of a neuron (otherwise known as a brain cell)? What analogy would you use to explain how a neuron functions? How would you compare it to something the learner is familiar with?

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    Let’s give this analogy a shot: Neurons are like transportation systems. They carry neurotransmitters (we will refer to them as information) from one neuron to another, similar to how transportation systems transport people from one city to another.[2]

    Think with both sides of your brain by way of a Diagram

    Use a diagram if you are unable to find the correct words to describe a concept. A great resource for identifying diagrams to visualize and grasp difficult concepts is Pinterest. By using diagrams, we are able to visualize new and abstract ideas. Understanding complex and abstract ideas requires both sides of the brain to function together and form powerful connections.

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    Experience the idea by using an Example

    What should you do if you are confused about a topic? You can either ask someone to show you or you can attempt to figure it out for yourself. By figuring it out for yourself, your mind is then able to learn through connections. By using examples, it allows you to experience the idea. By exposing yourself to examples, you are able to formulate your own understanding of the concept.

    Describe the concept in Plain language

    By using The Feynman Technique, constructed by the late theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, we are able to take an abstract concept and explain it in Plain English. Feynman posits, “Explain it like I am 5.” This forces us to make it really simple, and allows us to truly comprehend the concept. Avoid using technical jargon and remember to keep it simple. If you are unable to describe the concept in Plain English, then you most likely do not truly understand it.

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    Convert your comprehension of the concept into a Technical description

    Once you have a basic understanding of the concept, the final step is to comprehend the technical description of it. By using the ADEPT method, we can start with a rough idea and sharpen it until we clearly identify the technical details. For example, if you have been using the ADEPT method to grasp the Pythagorean Theorem, you must then be able to provide the technical terminology (such as an explanation of the formula) for other people to use.[3]

      Follow this advice when using the ADEPT method: Find an intriguing Analogy to describe what it’s like; use Pinterest to help you find a Diagram; conduct a Google search to find websites for Examples; describe the concept in Plain English by visiting websites such as Reddit; and finally, use easy to access websites (such as Wikipedia) to convert your concept into a Technical Description.

      The ADEPT method is a powerful tool that will help you strengthen and comprehend concepts in a faster and more effective way.

      Reference

      More by this author

      Dr. Jamie Schwandt

      Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

      Creative Brain Test: 10 Best Ways To Test Your Creative Intelligence How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills for a Sharper Mind 10 Brain Training Hacks to Increase Your IQ, Focus and Creativity

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      Last Updated on August 16, 2018

      16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

      16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

      The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

      How about a unique spin on things?

      These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

      1. Empty your mind.

      It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

      Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

      Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

      Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

      How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

      2. Keep certain days clear.

      Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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      This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

      3. Prioritize your work.

      Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

      Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

      Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

      How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

      4. Chop up your time.

      Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

      5. Have a thinking position.

      Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

      What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

      6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

      To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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      Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

      7. Don’t try to do too much.

      OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

      8. Have a daily action plan.

      Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

      Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

      9. Do your most dreaded project first.

      Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

      10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

      The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

      11. Have a place devoted to work.

      If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

      But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

      Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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      Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

      12. Find your golden hour.

      You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

      Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

      Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

      Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

      13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

      It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

      By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

      Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

      14. Never stop.

      Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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      Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

      There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

      15. Be in tune with your body.

      Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

      16. Try different methods.

      Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

      It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

      Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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