Advertising
Advertising

5 Techniques To Help You Master Any Skill

5 Techniques To Help You Master Any Skill

In today’s world, there are so many things to learn, and experience, yet most people would rather stick to what they already know, and not bother to take a leap, and experience something new.  If you were to ask somebody what may prevent them from learning a new skill, I am sure they would use time as an excuse.  If you are serious about wanting to pick up a new skill, and being able to learn it well, and learn it in a timely manner, check out these 5 techniques I came across that will help you do just that.

1. Deconstruct the skill, and make it less overwhelming.

When you start to learn something new, it can become extremely overwhelming, which can cause you to give up on it before you even start.  A lot of skills are usually a bunch of skills put together.  Take baseball as an example.  Yo have to know how to bat, throw, and catch.  Rather than going out and just trying to play baseball, try playing catch with a friend one day, and go to the batting cages the next. By breaking it down into two separate sessions, you don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do it all at once.

Advertising

2. Commit yourself to 20 hours of practice.

This is the whole focus in Josh Kaufmans “The First 20 Hours: How To Learn Anything…Fast”.  Before you start to learn something new, set a goal point that you would like to reach, and write down a schedule and stick to it!  It will certainly be hard in the first few hours of practicing, but if you can get past that you will be more likely to succeed.

3. Define what it means to you to “master” the skill.

Everybody interprets things differently.  One person’s definition of mastering a skill may be way different than yours.  Think of baking as an example.  Somebody who wants to master baking may think they need to learn how to make a perfect souffle, but you might interpret this as that you want to bake a batch of cupcakes for your daughter’s bake sale.  If you set an unreasonable goal for yourself, and try to learn more than you can in your 20-hour practice time, you are likely to give up sooner.  On the other hand, if you set a reasonable goal for yourself, and you stick to it, you can either practice until you reach the goal, or continue practicing up to your 20-hour mark.

Advertising

4. Imagine yourself doing the skill.

Make it a habit to visualize yourself performing the skill you are trying to learn.  I have learned that by doing this, by visualizing yourself doing the task, it boosts your morale, and you feel more confident within yourself that you can master the skill exactly how you want to.

5. Be cocky, but be humble.

Once you are past the first few hours of practice, and you are starting to pick up the skill a little better, free to act like you are already have been doing it for a while.  This is another way to boost your confidence, and make learning even more go a lot better.  On the other hand, don’t let it get to your head.  The worst thing you can do to your progress is be too cocky, because then you will feel like you know everything about it, when the truth is that you probably have a lot more to learn.  Its okay to feel proud of how far you came, but don’t for get to keep moving forward.

Advertising

Don’t keep telling yourself that you do not have any time to learn a new skill.  These 5 tips are a good way to help you learn something new, and learn it quickly.  Why deprive yourself from new experiences?  Get out there and learn!

Featured photo credit: Rocky Balboa/Sylvester Stallone via imdb.com

Advertising

More by this author

Michael Daws

Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

20 Things To Make A Relationship Last 5 Ways to Deal with Snow Runoff in the Garage 25 Different Ways To Eat Hummus. #5 Is Absolutely Authentic! 25 Creative Products That You Never Knew You Needed 10 Shocking Health Benefits of Juicing, With Recipes!

Trending in Productivity

1 5 Values of an Effective Leader 2 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 3 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work) 4 30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine 5 Is People Management the Right Career Path for You?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next