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Quick Learners Do These 8 Different Things to Pick Up Anything Easily

Quick Learners Do These 8 Different Things to Pick Up Anything Easily

In most parts of the world today, education is seen as a right, not a privilege. Even if sometimes costly, every individual has, at least in theory, the possibility of studying anything he or she desires. In response to this massification of the educational system, the quantity of information has grown exponentially. Moreover, it has spread and diversified into innumerable domains, sub-domains and specializations.

Regardless, education is nothing if it does not provide a certain degree of general knowledge and culture of other fields. In order to prevent schools and colleges from spawning specialists that are laser-focused on their field alone, the practice of quick learning has gained increasing popularity in the last years.

However, tackling and even partly understanding a subject in a brief time can be extremely demanding. Mixing it with other starkly different matters of interest only adds more difficulty. As such, a few techniques and practices have to be adopted and mastered in order to successfully engage in quick learning.

They are masters of prioritizing

In order to be able to tackle different topics and a large quantity of information in a short period of time, the ability to self-organization is key. Quick learners are excellent in setting priorities[1] and achievable objectives for themselves.

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To do this successfully and consistently, one needs to play around his or her own personality and study habits as there are nearly as many learning styles as there are people. A careful, studied approach to a subject can save a lot of time and help outline its important parts.

They know how to motivate themselves

Connected to the previous point, benchmarking is the practice of organizing any task into sub-goals. This breaking down of a titanic assignment works well as an incentive. Humans are wired to receive a degree of satisfaction upon completing a task. For that reason, large and time-consuming activities can seem like an eternity.

Quick learners, however, use benchmarking to keep themselves motivated and energized throughout the entire time of the project or task. This keeps productivity at elevated levels and brings about the peace of mind specific to a job well done.

They are good at asking for help and collaborating

Lots of organized, disciplined and intelligent individuals make the mistake of relying solely on their own ability to cope with an immense amount of information. As a result, their data absorption rate is modest and their comprehension of the studied subject is approximate.

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By comparison, quick learners know how to collaborate and ask the right questions. By doing so, they lower the information load on themselves, allowing for a better understanding of diverse subjects. Students, for example, can now access collaborative learning platforms such as Edmodo[2], where they can engage with teachers, take quizzes in order to test their knowledge on various topics, as well as manage their progress.

They spend time and effort to revise and practice

Human memory is not perfect. As such, what was once thoroughly understood and memorized may sooner or later fade away. Foreign languages are the best example of this occurrence. Left unpracticed for a longer period of time, words and expressions are easily forgotten. Quick learners constantly go over what they have studied, rewriting or outlining notes in order to keep the information at least partly fresh.

They learn from every failure

Success, as prized as it is by society, can result in a weakening of the ability to deal with new and challenging circumstances. In short, failure can foster adaptability, whereas success is more likely to lead to overconfidence. Quick learners do not become frustrated and most of all, they do not give up. Instead, they extract new techniques and methods of learning from each failure.

They do the right thing in the right place

The importance of the surroundings during learning is evident to anyone. Focusing requires calm, quiet and a lack of distractions. However, changing the environment can have a significant impact on one’s ability to learn in that moment.

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As such, regularly switching from the usual dark room to the park or a library is beneficial and recommended. One trick is to tie a certain subject of interest to a location. For example, a med student may study embryology in the library, biochemistry at home and read up on anatomy in the park.

They rely on hard copies to help them concentrate better

Technology is greatly influencing learning styles. One of the visible changes is that smartphones, tablets and laptops are gradually pushing print out of the usual work space or classroom.

Nowadays, students no longer confine themselves for hours on end in the library to study dusty manuals, nor do they fight for who gets to use the single copy of a certain work. Instead, information is made readily available to them online. Papers, studies, reports, syntheses of greater books are all a click away.

However, when it comes to learning, researchers have found[3]that about 90% of students prefer hard copy or print for school work. Similarly, 92% would choose a printed version when dealing with a longer text. The same percent report to be able to concentrate better when reading a hard copy. Significantly, the same study reveals that 85% of American students said that they find it easier to multi-task when reading on a laptop or tablet.

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They choose to believe in themselves when there is any self-doubt

The traditional view is that to be able to understand and practice something, you need intelligence, skill, and good learning habits such as the aforementioned ones. However, according a private internet access Netflix expert[4] he said “it is an underlying sense of self-efficacy, personal agency and the motivational and behavioral processes to put these self-beliefs into effect.”

Simply put, educational psychologists have discovered the complex role that self-doubts, false beliefs, unfortunate self-monitoring and strategy choice dilemmas play in the cognitive process of learning. To be able to learn something is thus connected to one’s balance and beliefs about the self-motivation and self-confidence being prime movers towards success, something which quick learners have mastered.

By following these 8 techniques to appropriating information, quick learners are able not only to go over a large quantity of data, but to also achieve higher levels of comprehension. Their example might be the model of the future, a time in which information only continues to expand and to become more and more diversified.

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Ryan Holman

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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