I've read 100's of articles on the science of learning.

I'll give you the important stuff here.

THREAD: 8 Steps to learn anything.

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1/ Been there, done that

Early in my career, I was given jobs I had no business doing.

I was in over my head & I knew it.

When you're out of your depth & need to get up to speed fast, there's only one place to go.

Ask someone who's been there before.


2/ Process > Performance

A common mistake people make when learning something new is focusing on performance rather than process.

Remeber: You're learning.

Early on, showing up and putting in reps is more important than the end result.

Quality comes with time & repetition.

3/ Write it down

Writing increases cognitive understanding & long-term retention.

Repeating in your mind as you write forces you to capture data in your own words allowing for greater recall.

In the long run, you'll save time and learn more.


4/ Back to basics

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden had a unique way of beginning the first practice of each season.

Teaching players to tie their shoes.

Of course, they already knew how, that wasn't the point.

In order to learn anything complex, master the basics first.

5/ ELI5

Explain LIke I'm Five.

Test your comprehension by explaining it to someone else.

Verbalizing requires you to re-word your innate knowledge.

You'll quickly see if you've internalized & understand or have simply been going through the motions.


6/ Gamification

Add elements such as points, rewards, or time limits to your learning process.

Gamification gives you the opportunity to see results in real time and provides a natural "high."

Releasing dopamine into our system and creating an addiction to learning.

7/ Interleaving

The process of mixing multiple topics together while studying.

By forcing the brain to recall differing types of info, your mind is constantly engaged.

Thus improving your ability to differentiate & strengthening memory associations.

8/ Desirable Difficulty

If you want to learn, you need to do hard things.

Your brain reacts to pressure and stress.

Without these, it tends to relax.

By making things more difficult, you're required to make stronger connections and in turn, retention increases.

9/ Bonus:

I'll leave you with two of my favorite quotes related to learning:

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand." –Albert Einstein

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

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I write about mental models, productivity, and building a better you.