First of all, let me tell you that I’m not a serial learner but like many of you I too like to keep my self updated, be it games, new skills, sports or in the subject I teach — Chemistry. I’m sure you would also keep your self updated. With the rise of technology, content is literally at our fingertips most of the time. Siri, Google and Wikipedia mean that we can access information faster than ever. As such, education has slowly moved from content-based to skills-driven. The question is- how many times a week or month in a year you learn new things?
It’s been my personal experience & many of the times observing people around me — some of us think themselves to be very busy or perceive the level of difficulty in the skill they want to learn. Factors such as family, social commitments, and frustration also stand in the way of their learning pursuits! Even if you are ready to learn, the feeling self-conscious prevents you from undertaking something new, Right?
Here are some basic things that you should do to keep learning different Skills-
1. Decide what you want to achieve & get specific
2. Don’t have to master Skill.
3. Commit to practice your new Skill.
4. Give yourself deadlines.
Let me step by step take you through each one…
Decide what you want to achieve
Start your learning journey by specifically choosing the part of the skill you want to learn instead of setting yourself to earn the whole skill at once. Most of the things we think of as skills are actually bundles of smaller sub-skills that are used in combination. By dividing the skill into manageable parts, learning & practicing becomes less intimidating, and you can work on improving one sub-skill at a time.
You don’t have to master the skill
The second step in learning something new in a short period of time is to acknowledge that you don’t have to master it. Most of the time when you set yourself to learn any skill, You don’t learn the skill to master it. The goal is not to become an “expert” but to get good enough at the desired skill. Majority of us aren’t training to be elite performers in an ultra competitive field, We’re learning things because we want to use them professionally or personally or enjoy them.
Commit to practice your new Skill.
Anything is achievable if you commit to that thing but when you’re learning something new, dwelling too much on “mastery” is worse than useless; it’s actively discouraging. Recently I read Josh Kaufman’s bestselling book- The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast!
In that, Josh Kaufman says- Commit to practice your new skill for at least 20 hours per month; that works out to about 40 minutes per day. Now that may not be practical to all to be self motivate & give 40 mins every day, so what to do in this case? Divide your Monthly Learning goal into weekly & daily goals. Then try to do it daily for 20 mins in 2 sessions at beginning & you will see the session time increase as you get hooked.
Although the 20 hour/month commitment serves as an important litmus test: if you’re not willing to invest at least 20 hours, the skill likely isn’t important enough to you at the moment, and you’re better off learning something else.
Give yourself deadlines.
If you’ve done some reading on productivity, you may have heard of Parkinson’s Law. It goes like this: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Remember the journal submission in college you had all the year to write, and yet you ended up writing the whole thing the weekend or 2 before it was due? Yeah, that was Parkinson’s Law. Remember that paper in college you had all semester to write, and yet you ended up writing the whole thing the weekend before it was due? Yeah, that was Parkinson’s Law.
When we experience the opportunity to learn something new, we enter what many people call the “honeymoon phase.” This is where we experience releases of dopamine as we experience new things. In other words, we’re hardwired to appreciate and seek out novelty because it makes us feel good. But when the “honeymoon phase” fades, well … that’s when we experience “the dip.” Our progress slows, we get frustrated, and many of us quit.
Here is where you can use Teachmitra Connect, simply search the skill you are learning & request peer for connect session to get your doubts cleared or talk about skill you are learning & share your experience, this will help you in maintaining interest as much as helping you in learning your Skills.
You will never learn everything, but you can learn anything.