When learning becomes easier, you learn faster, more enjoyably and with better results.
This follows on from my previous article called Professional Development: Seven steps to turn learning into earning that discusses identifying your weakest skill, thereby identifying your most important learning need to get ahead.
First, a reminder on why learning is important. The simple answer is, the more you learn, the more you can earn. The faster you learn, the faster you can earn.
The following ten learning tips are some of the most common behaviours of the fastest, happiest, and most successful learners. The more of them you apply, the better!
1. Stay relaxed, alert and motivated.
Stress in any form reduces your learning power. Learn how to alter your state of mind accordingly.
2. Cash in on your uniqueness.
Find out how you personally learn best. Ensure that you learn that way. For example, if you listen better than you read, then use audio.
3. Learn with your mind, body and senses.
After all, you’ve got them, so why not use them? When you do, learning becomes more enjoyable, stimulating, easier and effective. Take inspiration from the way babies learn. Imagine if they were taught by being put in a chair and lectured to! Our brains are used more fully and actively when we bring in physical movement and use as many of our senses as possible.
4. Sharpen your learning power with memory skills, speed reading and mindmapping.
These skills save time and increase results. They’re all learnable and will change the way you think and learn forever.
5. Learn with others
Social learning, with the right people, provides great benefits. Explore your learning content together and support one another as you move forwards.
6. Question, Question, Question!
Never stop questioning. Be curious. Pull existing ideas, concepts and models to bits. Questions activate the search for answers. Answers provide you with understanding and with usable facts that increase your learning power further.
7. Never forget the main goal
What will learning this particular material enable you to do that you couldn’t do previously? Think short and long term. Exactly what do you have to learn to achieve your desired results? Whatever it is, simulate the desired outcome as early as possible. You’ll learn more, and faster, by immersing yourself in the desired end result situation. You can then learn more theory, and go back and simulate again. Practice, practice, practice.
8. Show you know
How do you know for sure that you have learned something? Only when you output what you know, either verbally, in writing or by performing. Give it a go, then check with your notes or answers to see if you got it right. Note what you missed. Learn that. And test again.
9. Self assess on how you are progressing
Watch yourself. Notice what you found hard or easy. Notice which learning tips and approaches work and which don’t. Use this information to improve your approach.
10. Enjoy the time you’ve freed up!
You will find that working in this way, you have more time at your disposal. Use it to enjoy sports, hobbies and socialising, or to get more work done. Aim to keep a good balance between work and play. You will become much more effective and sharper.
Follow these learning tips to emulate the methods of top learners!
Learning does not have to be difficult or unenjoyable. It can be made colourful, interesting, easy and effective, if approached in the right way.
Remember, knowing these learning tips isn’t enough, the magic comes in applying them. Take a moment to write down how you will bring them into your work and personal life.
Why not put point five into action right now and share with us your thoughts on learning: what learning tips works for you, where you struggle, and any other problems or challenges you face.