Ever wondered why some people can learn something new very quickly. Well, now is your chance to find out. How to improve your learning skills is a science, one that has been studied all over the world.
There are different methods of learning. It could be by jotting down what you hear in audio or just listening attentively. Over time, the former has proven to be more effective than the latter.
Sometimes, you could even make a learning timetable to help you concentrate on a particular course on a set day. The aim of learning is to enable you to give a summary or comprehensive account of what you’ve read.
Such questions as how do we become motivated and what will make you want to learn have been studied in depth? Do you need to have the talent or just the desire to succeed? Let’s look at the facts that help millions succeed every day!
Table of Contents
Have You Set A Goal
Knowing where you are headed is paramount to succeeding in any skill. If you don’t know where you want to end up, how will you know when you get there? Making a goal also gives you a structure to create a timeline, for when you want to achieve your results.
The trick with goals is to set one that isn’t too far away from where you can see yourself. If you set a goal that is so far beyond your ability to see happening, you may never get started.
It is easy to believe the ‘aim for the stars’ sales pitch but when it comes to achieving your dreams, look at the end result but make your first goal closer to home.
Break Your Goal into Chunks
‘Chunking’ is a well-known work plan that musicians, sports stars, and actors use every day. Take your final goal and break it down into bite-size pieces. Make your first step a little one.
If your ultimate goal is to be a famous singer, then your first step would be to get singing lessons. Step two would be to do a performance. Step three might be to write some songs, and so on.
Now that you have your first step break it down into even smaller chunks. Practice the scales your singing teacher gave you. Memorize the words to a song. Each step you make will mean that you are a little closer to your dream, it isn’t hard in chunks.
Plan Where You Will Learn
Finding the right place to learn is crucial to your success. If you are studying at home then you will need a dedicated place to have your books, computer, and resources. Preferably, somewhere quiet that everyone knows to leave you alone when you are there.
Pick a regular time to study or practice. Even if your life is erratic making a commitment to a time slot will help you stay on track and apply yourself regularly.
No matter what you are learning practice will help you get to your goal. Without that practice, you will be in the same spot tomorrow as you were today.
Try for a lack of distractions, if you as nicely and explain about your study most people will understand and leave you to get busy.
Find People To Support and Encourage You
We all need a coach and a cheer squad. It’s also nice to share the journey because when you are frustrated or tired you may quit. Knowing that a friend or parent will ask how your study is going will help to remind you, that doing today what you need to do is important.
Live in the moment of this little goal chunk that you have planned. Blank out everything else around you and completely focus. It may only be for 10 minutes but total focus and struggling with your practice is what builds our brains.
Don’t believe me! Have a read of The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, he highlights people from all walks of life and how they achieved greatness through focused practice.
Find a community of people with similar dreams to chat with, they can support you through those moments when you wonder if you made the right decision. Inspire you to try again or even to stretch a little further and faster. Sharing your moment of frustration or asking for advice is a great way to stay on track.
There are many chat rooms connected to gaining skills in music, the arts, school, and jobs. Learning to connect in a positive way can be a part of growing as a person. We all need to stay connected and sometimes information overload can be your enemy.
Plan Fun Rewards To Keep You Coming Back
Everyone likes a reward and some praise. Consequently, make sure you plan a treat into each of your study times. This is just for you. Trust me it will keep you coming back, every day. As a professional musician, I find that playing scales and learning harder chords can drain all the fun out of my practice.
So, my treat is to pick a song that I want to learn, look up the YouTube original, find the chords, and play along. It almost feels like I’m part of the band and although I’m still learning, it’s fun. At the same time, I’m picking up skills in timing, rhythm, and voice from the very best.
There is usually a good reason why you want to reach a certain goal and keeping that dream fresh and alive is very important to your success. You actually learn more when you are enjoying something, so make it fun!
Reward Yourself Today
Create regular breaks in your study where you allow yourself to drift to an easier pleasure within your study. If necessary set a time limit or you will find that hours have passed and you didn’t return to the focused work that you need to do.
You will learn more in 30 minutes of a solid, focused struggle than hours of just skimming along. You are deluding yourself. To study well you need to get used to being a little uncomfortable, remember ‘struggle is good’ our brains build new grey matter when we struggle.
If you practice staying in this ‘struggle zone’ regularly, you will be amazed at how quickly you learn and remember new skills.
No one can do the work for you and if they did then they would have learned the skill, not you. Now is the time to begin to understand the science of learning. We are after all creatures of habit and learn to adapt to any situation. That is what happens when you struggle, you learn and adapt.
Follow Someone You Admire
Copying someone is the sincerest form of flattery and you can rest assured that you will never be them (even if you are a twin) but you may be better! Each of us is unique, you bring your own set of talents and abilities to your study. With the internet, it is very easy today to surf the net and YouTube other talented people.
Here is your chance to learn from the best. Even better, you may find that there are several people that you admire, that you can learn skills from. Either by analyzing them, group lessons, or private lessons, there are many ways now to learn the secrets of people you admire.
Network your way to success by offering something to the people you admire. Can you enrich their lives and gain assistance in your steps to your ultimate goal.
Our world has evolved so quickly over the last 100 years. I look back to my mother’s generation, who didn’t grow up with computers or mobile phones. Their parents bought hard copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica (Usually the whole 36 books) to supplement what they learned at school. Now with one click, you can look anything up from around the world.
Has this made us smarter? I’m not sure but what I do know is that all the excuses have disappeared, if you want to study. Even if there is little money available, we still have library computers, school assistance, and family help, and free online courses.
Recently, I decided to learn about having my own website business and after doing due diligence on the internet to see what was on offer in training I was delighted to find a learning, hosting platform called Wealthy Affiliate.
To say I was skeptical is an understatement but it was free to try and I have never looked back. As a baby boomer I knew learning the ropes on the internet was going to take me a while and I have been delighted with the abundance of knowledge, professional assistance, and community support that has helped me to create this website.
Other Tips for Learning Effectively
- Be Proactive with your learning plans.
During the week, endeavor to read at least three times. That way, you get to have this confidence in yourself because you know how well you’ve been studying. Doing this will not put you under pressure.
- Make efforts to avoid distractions.
Whether you’re outside or at home, learning can be an uphill task at times. It’s usually one distraction or the other. It could be loud music or someone comes around with an interesting topic of discussion.
You have to be focused to ward off distractions in any form. Endeavor to keep your gadgets away if you’re not using them to read.
- Make a study plan
This is the best advice anyone will ever give you when it comes to learning. Having a learning schedule is like a foundation upon which your success sits.
This will organize you in a way that you won’t get confused. That way you know what to study at a particular time.
- Take breaks in-between
Taking breaks is a more effective way to learn than reading for hours without pausing. When you take breaks, you relax your brain and digest the things you studied.
- Have a good night’s sleep
Sleep is very important as it relaxes the brain. A lack of sleep will impede your success when it comes to learning.
Your brain needs proper relaxation and that is what the nighttime is for. Not getting enough sleep will make concentration difficult for you while learning and also affect your retentive memory.
- Use acronyms to remember lists
This is one of the most effective learning hacks. Acronyms help you remember a list of things. Forming acronyms is good because it helps you remember the first letter of each of the words in the list.
This implies that you make the arrangement in no particular order. That way, the acronym can be something you will remember easily.
- Test yourself
Testing yourself is a way to know how well you have learned. When you test yourself, you easily detect what areas need additional work and what you need to do to improve.
Testing yourself is a way to familiarize yourself with what you learned. And it even gets better when you realize that those questions are likely to be asked.
For some people, they can learn with loud music on. In fact, some people prefer learning that way. For others, they prefer a serene environment to avoid any form of distraction.
Picture a scenario where you’re reading a page from a blog. Your purpose in reading that page is to be able to tell what you read on the page. It could be a story or a short piece but you ought to give a good account of the read.
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The world is at your fingertips and all you need to do is decide to stretch out your hand and make it happen. Yes, I know easier said than done, and keeping up the momentum can be daunting but I hope these tips have helped.
Make a goal, break it into bite-size pieces, learn to stay in the struggle zone. Reach for your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
This is your path, your dream and I hope that if my post helps to clarify the best way to progress your study that I have helped. If you would like to make a comment or stay in touch please leave a message below. Or share or like, I would appreciate that. Thanks.
Wishing you all the best in your journey.