In today’s world, all of us are pressed for time. For some, it’s so bad that we don’t even have space in our schedules to eat. We’re always down in the trenches, doing our work.
Finding time to learn, therefore, can be a challenge. We want to engage in training to progress our careers, but doing so isn’t always easy. People say, “just use your evenings and weekends.” But what if you don’t have any? What then?
The best strategy for people in this position is to use the latest science to accelerate their learning. It turns out that there are a bunch of ways that you can trick your brain into learning faster.
Here’s what to do.
Break Learning Tasks Up Into Chunks
Have you ever stepped away from a problem you couldn’t solve, made a drink, and then returned to it a few hours later with an answer? If so, you’re not alone. Researchers call this phenomenon “distributed practice.” The idea is that it is easy to come up with solutions to problems if you dip in and out of them frequently.
The reasons for this have to do with the way the brain works. Learning something new is only part of the process. The brain also needs to consolidate. Most of this happens unconsciously, though. There’s not much you can do to accelerate it. Your best strategy is to simply get out of the way and let your brain do what it does.
So how can you hack this weird quirk? The current advice is to spend fifteen minutes learning. Then, take a break (sometimes up to a day), and then go back to it. You’ll find that you make much more efficient use of the day.
Manage Your Learning
Acquiring knowledge isn’t a random process. It requires structure. (I’m a big fan of structure.)
New learning builds on existing concepts, usually in a particular order. That’s why most college textbooks go through topics in the same way. It makes sense to start with the easy stuff and go from there.
However, some companies are taking this concept a stage further, especially when it comes to work-based training. The idea is to structure learning in such a way that you get the most out of the course in the shortest time possible.
Firms are using software more than ever before to hack the learning process. SAP Litmos reviews reveal the extent to which this is taking place. Companies need systems that distribute learning content in a timely and effective manner. Each student must be able to keep pace with the learning to derive maximum value from the next stage in the process.
Rarely will you learn fast by staring at a book for hours at a time. The real way to gain understanding is to test yourself and create challenges. Nobody learns to ride a bike by reading about it. This notion reminds me of something Merlin Mann once said:
“Joining a Facebook group about creative productivity is like buying a chair about jogging.”@hotdogsladies
There’s no getting around it: You will only get good at something by taking the plunge and actually doing it.
No matter the time or season, if you want to learn something faster then give these three tips a try. It’s the way to learn something that isn’t just fast… but will last.