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Successful People Make Learning a Daily Habit Effortlessly by Mastering These 4 Tricks

Successful People Make Learning a Daily Habit Effortlessly by Mastering These 4 Tricks

It seems more and more difficult to find people nowadays who love reading books even when they are not forced to.

As soon as we get out of school, we are eager to reject any form of learning, including reading books of our own free will: never reading another book in their life seems to be true for one-third of high school graduates, and even 42% of college graduates follow their path. Very high percent of adults and families also shy away from going into a bookstore, buying a book, and not to mention reading it.[1]

We become so resistant to learning, as we perceive it as an obligation, and as soon as we say goodbye to our formal education, we think – that’s it, no more learning, thanks god. What we fail to understand is that constant learning should be an important part of our lives, as it doesn’t just provide us with knowledge, but improves many other skills and provides numerous benefits.

You Can Easily Reap These 4 Benefits When You Keep Learning

Constant learning can make us more adaptable to the challenges and changes at work and in life and better our problem solving skills

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There are constant changes happening around us, in our everyday life we see so many technological innovations, and you are probably constantly facing changes at your workplace, as every business needs to keep up with this fast-paced modern world. UC Irvine neurobiologists found that learning helps your brain function at a higher level, and thus making you more adaptable to changes.[2]

Learning can make us happier and healthier which helps fight dementia and brain ageing

Gaining knowledge constantly and learning new skills is not just useful, but it is good for your brain as well. A comprehensive study by Thomas Bak[3] dealt with bilingualism and brain ageing. His findings suggest that learning a second language, even later in life, can benefit your brain and delay dementia.

Learning can make us more confident and interesting, which helps with our interpersonal relationships

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Working on your personal growth gives you confidence to engage in social interactions and participate in any conversation, and freely express your ideas with newly gained knowledge. While constantly learning, you come across many interesting facts that you can share with others at social gatherings and thus form many new relationships.

Learning can broaden our views and help us make better decisions

By constantly learning, you are constantly expanding your knowledge base, and are therefore to able to see things from different perspectives. When you develop this ability to approach every situation from a different angle, you will be more confident when making new decisions based on all the knowledge you are continually gaining.

Lifelong Learning Becomes Effortless When You Turn It into a Daily Habit by These 4 Ways

Learning new things might seem as an obligation, but as soon as you learn how to incorporate learning into your everyday routine, the process will become effortless.

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Keep the big goal in mind but do the minimum work

It is normal to want to achieve significant goals when learning, but it might seem overwhelming when you, for example say “I want to learn a new language in 6 months”, and you force yourself to learn 50 new words every day. After a while, it will start to burden you, and you will quit.

The best practice is to have the main goal in mind, but try to break it into sets of smaller achievable goals, and you will thus feel like you are making progress and will be more eager to continue. Decide what you want to achieve in the next month, for example, and the minimum of work you need to do every day. When learning a new language, you can say that you want to read 5 pages of a book in that language every day.

Make use of the “if-then” approach to make your brain feel less burdened

When incorporating new habits, it is often difficult to stick to them and find the time during the day, since we always have something else to do and tend to forget that we planned to learn something. If you want your learning habit to stick, try to connect it with your current routines, instead of trying to change them completely.

To do that, you can use triggers. When you say “Today, I want to learn for one hour”, it is to general as you cannot associate it with any other daily routine. It would be better to say “When I finish having shower, then I will learn” and you will have a contextual clue that will trigger the habit.

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Eliminate excessive options

When having too many options it is difficult to focus on learning – you want to watch something on TV, or you can play some games, or listen to music. Make a decision which period during the day you will dedicate to learning, and set the time aside just for learning. At the beginning of every week make a plan what learning materials you will cover and stick to your plan. Once you get used to the fact that you learn during that certain period, you will do it automatically without thinking.

Don’t just think about the desired result – visualize the process

A study conducted at UCLA [4] found that when visualizing the process and steps you need to go through to reach the desired result, you are more likely to stay consistent. Just visualizing the result and the end goal can make it seem impossible and too far to reach. So, you need to take one step at a time, and first visualize the next step towards your goal, and once you are done with that step, visualize the next step and so on.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on September 24, 2020

17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

In the movie The Matrix, everyone was intrigued with the ability that Neo and his friends possessed to learn new skills in a matter of seconds. With the incredible rise in technology today, the rapid learning in the movie is becoming much more of a reality than you realize.

The current generation has access to more knowledge and information than any before it. Through the internet, we are able to access all sorts of knowledge to answer almost every conceivable question. To become smarter, it’s more about the ability to learn faster, rather than being a natural born genius.

Here are 17 ways to kickstart your Matrix-style learning experience in a short amount of time.

1. Deconstruct and Reverse Engineer

Break down the skill that you want to learn into little pieces and learn techniques to master an isolated portion. The small pieces will come together to make up the whole skill.

For example, when you’re learning to play the guitar, learn how to press down a chord pattern with your fingers first without even trying to strum the chord. Once you are able to change between a couple of chord patterns, then add the strumming.

2. Use the Pareto Principle

Use the Pareto Principle, which is also known as the 80 20 rule. Identify the 20% of the work that will give you 80% of the results. Find out more about the 80 20 rule here: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

Take learning a new language for example. It does not take long to realize that some words pop up over and over again as you’re learning. You can do a quick search for “most commonly used French words,” for example, and begin to learn them first before adding on the rest.

3. Make Stakes

Establish some sort of punishment for not learning the skill that you are seeking. There are sites available that allow you to make a donation toward a charity you absolutely hate if you do not meet your goals. Or you can place a bet with a friend to light that fire under you.

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However, keep in mind that several studies have shown that rewards tend to be more motivating than punishment[1].

4. Record Yourself

Seeing yourself on video is a great way to learn from your mistakes and identify areas that you need to improve. This is very effective for any musicians, actors, speakers, performers, and dancers.

5. Join a Group

There are huge benefits to learning in a group. Not only are you able to learn from others but you’ll be encouraged to make progress together. Whether it’s a chess club, a mastermind group, or an online meet-up group, get connected with other like-minded individuals.

6. Time Travel

Visit the library. Although everything is moving more and more online, there are still such things called libraries.

Whether it’s a municipal library or your university library, you will be amazed at some of the books available there that are not accessible online. Specifically, look for the hidden treasures and wisdom contained in the really old books.

7. Be a Chameleon

When you want to learn new skills, imitate your biggest idol. Watch a video and learn from seeing someone else do it. Participate in mimicry and copy what you see.

Studies have shown that, apart from learning,[2]

“Mimicry is an effective tool not only to create ties and social relationships, but also for maintaining them.”

Visual learning is a great way to speed up the learning process. YouTube has thousands of videos on almost every topic available.

8. Focus

Follow one course until success! It’s easy to get distracted, to throw in the towel, or to become interested in the next great thing and ditch what you initially set out to do.

Ditch the whole idea of multitasking, as it has been shown to be detrimental and unproductive Simply focus on the one new skill at hand until you get it done.

9. Visualize

The mind has great difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. That is why athletes practice mentally seeing their success before attempting the real thing[3].

Visualize yourself achieving your new skill and each step that you need to make to see results. This is an important skill to help when you’re learning the basics or breaking a bad habit.

Take a look at this article to learn how to do so: How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

10. Find a Mentor

Success leaves clues. The best short cut to become an expert is to find an expert and not have to make the mistakes that they have made.

Finding out what NOT to do from the expert will fast-track your learning when you want to learn new skills. It is a huge win to have them personally walk you through what needs to be done. Reach out and send an email to them.

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If you need help learning how to find a mentor, check out this article.

11. Sleep on It

Practice your new skill within four hours of going to sleep.

Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, is a noted rapid learning expert. He says that any practice done within this time frame causes your brain to embed the learning more rapidly into its neural pathways. Your memory and motor-mechanics are ingrained at a quicker level.

12. Use the 20-Hour Rule

Along with that tip, Kaufman also suggests 20 as the magic number of hours to dedicate to learning the new skill.

His reasoning is that everyone will hit a wall early on in the rapid learning stage and that “pre-committing” to 20 hours is a sure-fire way to push through that wall and acquire your new skill.[4]

Check out his video to find out more:

13. Learn by Doing

It’s easy to get caught up in reading and gathering information on how to learn new skills and never actually get around to doing those skills. The best way to learn is to do.

Regardless of how unprepared you feel, make sure you are physically engaged continuously. Keep alternating between research and practice.

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14. Complete Short Sprints

Rather than to force yourself into enduring hours upon hours of dedication, work in short sprints of about 20-30 minutes, then get up and stretch or take a short walk. Your brain’s attention span works best with short breaks, so be sure to give it the little rest it needs.

One study found that, between two groups of students, the students who took two short breaks when studying actually performed better than those who didn’t take breaks[5].

15. Ditch the Distractions

Make sure the environment you are in is perfect for your rapid-learning progress. That means ditching any social media, and the temptation to check any email. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Before you sit down to learn new skills, make sure that potential distractions are far from sight.

16. Use Nootropics

Otherwise known as brain enhancers, these cognitive boosters are available in natural herbal forms and in supplements.

Many students will swear by the increased focus that nootropics will provide[6], particularly as they get set for some serious cramming. Natural herbal nootropics have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions to improve the mind and learning.

Find out more about brain supplements in this article.

17. Celebrate

For every single small win that you experience during the learning process, be sure to celebrate. Your brain will release endorphins and serotonin as you raise your hands in victory and pump your fits. Have a piece of chocolate and give yourself a pat on the back. This positive reinforcement will help you keep pushing forward as you learn new skills.

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The Bottom Line

Learning a new skill should be exciting and fun. Whether you use online courses, real world experience, YouTube videos, or free online resources, take time to learn in the long term. Keep picturing the joy of reaching the end goal and being a better version of yourself as continual motivation.

More Tips on How to Learn New Skills

Featured photo credit: Elijah M. Henderson via unsplash.com

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