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6 Rules Successful People Live By to Learn Faster and Better Than Everyone Else

6 Rules Successful People Live By to Learn Faster and Better Than Everyone Else

While we were all born with a desire to learn, somewhere along the line, many of us lose our passion for learning. The pressure to excel in life with emphasis on exam scores takes away the joy that comes from learning. Whatever the reasons, once the basics are covered, many people tend to stick with what they know.[1] They also avoid the difficulty in learning something new. Successful people are so because they learn in a systematic and result-oriented way. Thus, they learn faster and better than everyone else.

Many people wonder how they can be successful. They do not know they hold within themselves everything they need to succeed.[2] Successful people set rules and standards in their habits. Habits determine 95% of one’s behavior; as a result, a unique learning style. These rules incorporated into the behavior of successful people make them do things differently. They lead to a remarkable learning style that in turn makes them learn faster and better. Thus, we have compiled six rules successful people live by to learn faster and better than everyone else.

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They don’t memorize information but connect things together

Human beings are capable of forming patterns and connections. Computers can perform calculations at rates of millions per seconds. We can form connections, patterns than we can memorize information. Successful people don’t memorize! Learning via connections makes learning any subject easier. It is important to make connections between ideas. Learning faster isn’t magic. It is a process of figuring out what you do when you learn well and trying to repeat that more often. It’s about avoiding the trap of memorization. Thus, successful people learn faster and better by connecting patterns in a task.

They don’t multitask when they learn

Multitasking is an unfortunate pleasure we’ve developed in this era.[3] This era of constant notifications and mo bile applications. Text messages and emails might seem harmless, but they can divert one’s attention from the task at hand. John D. Rockefeller wrote,

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“Do not many of us who fail to achieve big things fail because we lack concentration — the art of concentrating the mind on the thing to be done at the proper time and to the exclusion of everything else?”.

From checking emails to scrolling through twitter, this prevents one from learning faster. Think about your own computer. When you have 15 different tabs open on your browser, your computer begins to slow down. This takes longer to process every action. Successful people learn faster and better by setting their devices on airplane mode. So, no distractions.

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They learn difficult concepts by repetitive practice

Mastering anything faster requires practice.[4] Learning requires persistence in performing the same skill over and over again. This is until one can do it without thinking about it, that is to say it becomes automatic. Successful people understand this “secret” to learning faster and becoming the best. Remarkable-level performance is the result of repetitive practice, not due to innate talent. Successful people know that repetition of concept improves assimilation and speeds up learning.

They consult experts to save time and effort

Another learning style of successful people is not to master it alone. They save time and effort by getting help from someone who’s already learned it. To achieve mastery faster, it is important to consult the top players in the field. As Robbins puts it:

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“Many great leaders have proven that the fastest way to master any skill, strategy or goal in life is to model those who have already forged the path ahead”.

Successful people find someone who is already getting the results that they want. This is to take the same actions they are taking, to get the same results. There is a saying that experience is the best teacher. Some people interpret it as learning from their own successes and failures. Successful people focus on learning from others to learn better.

They make use of the 80/20 rule

Successful people reconstruct the task they see. They see it at its basic, fundamental components. They break the task down into parts and find the most important things to practice first. This is a remarkable learning style. They use the Pareto principle. This describes getting 80 percent of result by putting in 20 percent effort. The goal is to separate the 20 percent of our learning materials that will give one 80 percent of the result. As it turns out, fast-learning experts have already embraced this ideology. Learn the most important subset skills within that time frame to get the greatest of impact.

They always keep a student mind

They don’t refer to themselves as “experts” in any field. The expert status assumes the position that one has reached the fullest potential. It implies one has attained a thrilling pinnacle in one’s career. Also, that your thirst for knowledge in a particular area has reduced. Successful people learn faster and better by their continuous willingness to learn and inquisitiveness.[5] Having the mind of a student! That’s what sets successful people apart: They never stop learning.

Reference

More by this author

Amber McNaught

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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