Learn to Learn
3 months ago we all were forced into a house arrest. A wave was set throughout social media about using this time to learn something new like a skill or a hobby and we rushed into it because we all like riding trends. Now I am not saying that this is bad in any shape or form. Exploring something new from time to time can be great and should be done. But I am sure almost 70% of people gave up on what they had set out to learn and I am one of them. There are mainly 2 reasons for the same:
You did not find it interesting at all.
You liked it initially but then eventually it started getting on your nerves.
If the reason was the first one, then I am glad you stopped doing it. But we will talk more about the second reason here.
1. YOU DID NOT USE THE RIGHT DATA
Let me get something straight, LEARNING ANYTHING NEW IS HARD. Yes, read it again. On top of that, you decided to learn from a resource that you couldn't stand for more than 30 minutes. Internet today is like a catalog and you literally have the choice to select from hundreds of resources. If you can't understand something from a particular resource or something explained by a particular instructor, DUMP THAT RESOURCE. Don't put yourself through the pain because you will eventually give up in the future. Your current understanding of the topic, easy to understand language, and your preferred style of teaching are some of the factors that should be considered while selecting a resource. Choosing the right resource to learn from solves 50% of your problem.
2. YOU DID NOT SET DEADLINES
Credits: Institute of Entrepreneurship
Deadlines are the best when it comes to keeping yourself accountable. Whenever you try to learn something new, even before starting your first job must be to break that into very small fractions and set reasonable deadlines on those fractions. Let's take playing the guitar as an example. Now before even starting, you must break down the process as:
Which song do I want to play on the guitar?
Which chords are required to play that song?
Rank these chords w.r.t. the level of difficulty.
Set deadlines to learn each chord!
Thus by setting deadlines you will keep yourself on the right track and complete your given tasks in time which will eventually help you achieve your goal.
3. ONLY ABSORBING DATA
The average attention span for a human brain is only 40 minutes. Binge-watching tutorials or lectures for 2-3 hours straight won't do you any good. To learn anything new you must have a reasonable balance between consuming and creating. Your brain will only enjoy doing something if it gets the right amount of challenge. I usually like to go with the 50-50 technique. In this, you first consume for 50 minutes. Make sure you do not focus on anything else in these 50 minutes. Use it to learn a new concept. Then take a break for 10 minutes. Then implement whatever you have learned in that time for the following 50 minutes. The rest of the time can be used to rectify mistakes. Thus when you consume and implement in equal parts, you learn better!
4. IT TAKES TIME
Skills take time to master. It can take 12-13 months to reach an intermediate level at a given skill and a few years to achieve expertise. So if you really got interested in something you picked up, be consistent for a little more time and you will get better. And even if you didn't, you can always pick something new up.
I hope this will help you learn better. Keep realistic expectations and focus on laying one brick at a time. Eventually, you will see that Rome is built. Keep Learning!
Cover Image: Litmos