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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

10 Tips to Improve Your Learning Curve and Achieve More

10 Tips to Improve Your Learning Curve and Achieve More

Improving your learning curve is mandatory in order to avoid getting stuck in a vicious cycle. You may already be experiencing this cycle. Daily, you fail to manage your time efficiently because you’re not a pro at the tasks you do.

To become such, you need to put in the time.

It is just the same as when employers ask for work experience to hire you, but you need to get hired to get work experience.

Let’s first find out what the learning curve theory is. Then, you will get to know the top 10 tips to boost your learning curve so that you can eventually find a way out of this stress.

What Is the Learning Curve Theory?

The learning curve is basically a graphical representation of the time taken to do a task. As per this curve, the more times a person does a job, the less time it takes to do it successfully.

For example, if you’re strumming a guitar for the first time, you’ll probably take up a solid few minutes to figure out the finger placement for each chord. Once you get the hand of the task by repeating it multiple times, you can do the same job within seconds!

The theory itself is more mathematical. It involves a formula, observations over time, and a fair few measurements to create an accurate learning curve.[1]

However, for the implementation of this theory in your daily life, you don’t really have to do all the calculations. All that you need to be clear on is the idea of the learning curve so that you can use the science behind it to improve performance on difficult tasks in the long term.

The learning curve can be applied in all parts of life. Whether it is a toddler who is getting familiar with phonics or an adult who is learning a new language, this theory can be used everywhere.

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All in all, the main concept is that the repetition of any task or information will accustom the brain to perform quicker in that regard. The mind gets used to the process, it begins to become habitual in the method, and it ends up saving a lot of time.[2]

How to Improve Your Learning Curve

There are a few tricks you can use to speed up the improvement of your learning curve. Using these tips will help you master a whole host of skills.

1. Start With Your Strengths

When you’re starting out with a new process, it is best to go ahead with tasks that you are already well-aware of. This will help you get the hang of the process before you move on to tougher tasks. Starting with your strengths will also keep your motivation high.

If you’re not sure what your personal strengths are, this article may help.

Let’s say you’re already working on mastering pottery. Keep practicing the same skill instead of starting out with something completely new. Otherwise, you’ll lose whatever skill you have in pottery, and the new skill will take up more learning time, too.

2. Don’t Expect Miracles

In the process of improving your learning curve, you will have to put in a lot of time. It is not a magic trick that will make you a pro within a few days.

You can use tips to speed up your learning process, but at the same time, be prepared to dedicate ample time to these improvements. After an initial period of complex learning, the curve will begin to level off, meaning you’re getting better at your chosen skill[3].

Learning Curve Graph

    3. Repeat and Redo

    The learning curve theory is all about repeating the job at hand to reduce the total amount of time it takes.

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    Hence, the ultimate goal is to fit in as many repetitions as possible for a specific task. It gets boring and redundant, but without redoing the same thing over and over, your learning curve will not get any better.

    4. Use the Right Techniques

    Everyone has a different way of learning. However, he generalized learning techniques have come into existence after a lot of trial and error.

    You may be tempted to try out new methods of learning for yourself, but in the process of improving your learning curve, time is of immense importance. This is why you should stick to the tried and true techniques of learning whatever task you’re working on.

    You’ll have to do some research to find out what the right techniques for your chosen skill are. This article may help you get started.

    5. Take It One Step at a Time

    The learning curve varies for different tasks and skills. Therefore, only tackle one learning curve at a time.

    For example, f you’re working on a musical skill, stick to it until you master it. Then, move forward to something new. You will only make things more time-consuming and difficult if you attempt to tackle multiple skills and tasks simultaneously.

    Approaching various tasks at the same time will not be effective at all. Instead, it will do the complete opposite and further slow you down.

    Also, within one skill, divide the learning into chunks. Do not try to take on all the possible information at once.

    6. Evaluate Yourself

    Imagine doing all the hard work but not noticing any learning progress in the end. To keep this devastating misfortune from happening, keep evaluating yourself regularly. It can be done weekly or bi-weekly as per the nature of what you’re practicing.

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    Your personal evaluations should be honest. One way to measure your progress is to time yourself. It will be a foolproof representation of your advancement.

    If you’re not improving at a steady pace, you probably need to change your learning techniques. The fault may be in your schedule. You could be putting too much pressure on yourself or not working hard enough.

    7. Get External Evaluation

    Sometimes personal evaluations are just not enough. In these cases, a second opinion is never a bad option.

    You can record your learning curve progress and show it to someone else for feedback. Or, you can do the task in front of an expert.

    For example:

    If you’re improving your writing skills, you can time yourself and write a piece to later send to a professional writer for evaluation.

    Similarly, you can build a piece of furniture in front of a carpenter to get an opinion on your technique.

    The external evaluation will be the most useful if the feedback comes from an expert from the relevant industry. However, if that’s not possible, you can always find some use from a layman’s opinion, too.

    8. Stay Focused

    The entire technique of using the learning curve is dependent on your brain. If the brain isn’t focused, all your efforts will be useless.

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    To stay focused, you will have to work extremely hard. The hard work of a few days will help you out for the rest of your life. Alongside that, you cannot afford to waste time. Focus on the practical skills that will help you in life.

    All of these factors combined will lead to positive results. You can set out time in your schedule for mental exercises to strengthen your focus. Another thing to do is to practice your skill in isolation so that there are minimal distractions. Breaks are yet another vital part of maintaining your focus throughout the process.

    9. Stay Determined

    You know how charcoal has to go through indescribable pressure to become a diamond? Well, you’ll have to go through something similar, too. As said previously, it is not a magic trick.

    You can only be successful if you stay determined. If you head in intending to quit as things get difficult to manage, you’ll never reach your goal.

    10. Offer Assistance

    Once you feel like you’ve become a master, it’s time to further strengthen your learning.

    The best way to do it by teaching others[4]. You will not only repeat all the concepts yourself, but it will also help you improve any minor flaws that were left in your technique.

    Final Thoughts

    With all these tips in your mind, your learning curve can get closer to its optimal shape. The best way to utilize this strength is to boost your professional life with this method.

    You can start by working on the skills that will help you become a master at your job. Once you become the fastest, most suitable person for the job, you will automatically excel.

    There will be no competition, no matter how saturated the market is. You can increase your value and demand by using the learning curve theory to your advantage.

    All that’s left to do now is smartly use these tips and tricks. You will achieve guaranteed success in every part of your life with the help of the learning curve!

    More Tips on Learning

    Featured photo credit: Caleb Angel via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2021

    7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster

    7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster

    Are you learning a new skill? Whether you’re learning a language, instrument, or sport, there’s science-backed learning hacks you can systematically follow to learn it faster.

    With technology, communication tools, and access to information, there’s no limit to what you can learn today. We’ve curated our top 7 learning hacks that you can use for your benefit.

    1. Set the right goals from the start

    Having the right goals in place is the first step in learning anything. It’s the foundation that will set you up for either success or failure. Most people set vague goals that doesn’t help them in the long term.

    For example, let’s say you want to learn how to speak Spanish in order to travel to South America.

    A bad goal would be: “I want to learn Spanish so I can go to South America.” Why? Because it’s too general.

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    A great goal must include the following factors:

    • Visualization
    • Measurable
    • Deadline

    An example goal of a better goal would be: “I want to be able to hold a 30-minute conversation in Spanish with a native speaker from Buenos Aires by July 2017.”

    Notice the difference in specificity, visualization, and timeline to learn. Keep these factors in mind the next time you set a goal.

    2. Schedule it in

    What doesn’t get scheduled in the calendar, doesn’t get done. All of us love to complain about one thing, lack of time. But learning a new skill doesn’t have to take up a large portion of your day. In fact, in as little as 30 minutes per day, you can learn something new.

    While it may not be a game changing learning session, these small lessons will quickly accumulate over time.

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    3. Deconstruct the skills

    Next is to deconstruct and breakdown the individual components you need to learn. Let’s take learning Spanish to continue our example. You could break the skill down to writing, reading, conversation, and listening.

    In his popular book, The Four-Hour Chef, Tim Ferriss recommends asking the following question: “What are the minimum learnable units, the LEGO blocks, I should be starting with?” This will help you analyze what are the starting points that you should cover.

    4. Focus on the 20% vital learnings

    Most of the time, resources, and money we spend are not as impactful towards our end goal as we think. An Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto came up with a law called the Pareto’s Principle. It explains that 20% of tasks, activities, and time will often provide 80% of our desired results.

    For example, if you want to learn a language, the 20% could be focusing on learning how to hold a conversation in your target language instead of focusing on reading, writing, etc.

    5. Have a stake

    Willpower is largely overestimated in our society. Humans, as much as we have progressed, need to be incentivized in one way or another. This could be a reward that we receive for doing something, or it could be a punishment that we get for not doing something.

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    I recommend checking out StickK, which is a free goal-setting platform created by behavioral economists that put real money on the line if you fail to meet your goals. The more that’s on the line, the more committed you’ll be.

    6. Learn from a professional teacher

    If there’s any shortcut in life, it’s to learn from someone who’s done it and trained to teach you. Sure, you can try to do it all on your own, but that’ll take significantly longer in terms of time, sometimes years.

    This is why having a personal trainer to help you get in shape has shown to provide individuals the fastest and most effective results. Or why the best performers in business have business coaches and mentors by their side at all times.

    7. Take care of yourself

    There’s no question that health is one of the most important things we should prioritize to learn anything faster. If done well, it will trickle down to help us pick up knowledge faster and remember more information.

    This boils down to not just more, but better sleep and exercise. Exercise improves learning on three levels. It optimizes your mindset, by improving alertness, attention, and motivation. It prepares and encourages nerve cells to intersect, preparing our brain to acquire new information. And it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain related to memory and learning.

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    Here’s a visual representation of how our brain is affected by sitting versus taking a quick 20-minute walk.

      In conclusion, these simple learning hacks can help anyone of us fill the skill gaps we need to thrive in our professional career and personal lives. Sometimes, just working harder is not the solution. It’s working smarter.

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