We’ve all been there before. You feel lazy, unproductive and like you’re in a slump – the last thing you want to do is learn. Hey guys! Today I’ll be sharing some of the techniques I use to get into a learning mindset or when I’m tackling a really difficult subject. I think that many of us forget that learning is a life-long process; it continues well after you’ve left school. To be able to learn effectively is a skill that will serve you well in every aspect of your life.
1. Find your inspiration
Find the why. Discover your role models. Why is it that you want to learn something? What motivates you to get up every morning? What are your goals 5, 10, and 15 years from now? If you haven’t asked yourself these questions, take some time to do so! I find that once I now why I want to learn something, the process of learning becomes all the less painful.
2. Create a learning environment
Find a quiet place, find a study group, find some binaural beats. The “ideal” learning environment varies from person to person. Do whatever it takes to be able to reflect on the material you’re learning.
3. Use recorded material to your advantage
Whether it’s an audiobook or a previously recorded lecture, listening to the material you’re learning is another way to engage your brain. Audio is great for reinforcing concepts and it’s a more passive form of intaking information. The next time you’re commuting, take out those earphones and make the most out of your time!
4. Read physical text
I find that I learn a lot more by reading an actual book than a digital copy. Smartphones and tablets can be great tools but, in reality, act as gateways to a ton of distractions. Also, the physical presence of a book means that it’ll be there to remind you to pick it up and read – unlike an arbitrary PDF file that you may never look at again.
5. Write down what you learn
Pencil it in. Repeat the material. Test yourself. Many of us can type faster than we can write, but did you know that students who take physical notes end up with a better conceptual understanding of the material being taught? There’s an interesting article on Scientific American that discusses this in greater depth here.
Once you get into a learning mindset, things tend to get easier. It’s all about momentum!
I hope you’ll be able to apply some of these tips during your next learning session.
Until next time,