Learn how to improve with these resources

In this article, I would like to recommend some non-technical resources that have helped me become a more effective learner, set better goals and improve my focus, creativity and communication skills.

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Learning How To Learn

Online course at Coursera

  • Background: This is one of the best courses out there and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to become a more effective learner.
  • Length: Less than 10 hours of content
  • Takeaways: Taking breaks (and activating the “diffuse” mode) helps you to solve problems, changing your learning environment stimulates the brain, procrastination can be overcome by taking the first step and writing things down can free up your working memory.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Podcast

  • Background: I love listening to this podcast. My favourites so far include Susan Garrett (dog trainer), Cal Fussman (author and journalist), Debbie Millman (designer) and Drew Houston (founder of Dropbox).
  • Length: approx. 2 hours each.
  • Takeaways: Seek uncomfortable challenges, keep a daily appreciation journal, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with and many more.

The Compound Effect — Darren Hardy

Book

  • Background: The idea behind this book is that results compound exponentially over time. An example would be to do one minute extra of exercise a day to improve health exponentially in the long-term.
  • Length: 162 pages
  • Takeaways: Take 100% responsibility for what happens in your life and tracking progress leads to success.

Never Split the Difference — Chris Voss

Book

  • Background: I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve their negotiation skills. In this book, Chriss Voss shares the lessons he learned as a hostage negotiator for the FBI.
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Takeaways: Label the other person’s pain, be wary of “Yes” and a smile on your face (and in your voice) can improve your mental agility.

Originals — Adam Grant

Book

  • Background: I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing what it takes to be original.
  • Length: 326 pages
  • Takeaways: There is a correlation between quantity and quality when generating new ideas and you don’t have to take unnecessary risk to be original.

Deep Work — Cal Newport

Book

  • Background: I would recommend this book to everyone because I think we all need to improve our focus in a world full of distraction.
  • Length: 326 pages
  • Takeaways: Avoid multitasking, practice being bored and take breaks in order to improve focus.

The Asshole Survival Guide — Robert I. Sutton

Book

  • Background: This book is a valuable read for anyone who has to deal with different levels of jerks in their life.
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Takeaways: Assholes attract Assholes, negative behaviours are more difficult to stop than positive ones and it’s easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

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Timeline

  • September, 2017: Originally published at learnitmyway.com
  • September, 2018: Complete rewrite, added Asshole Survival Guide