How To Learn Faster
1. Digital Brain
Did you know that beyond your physical brain, there is a second brain you can call upon? It’s called the Digital Brain. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, then let me give you a quick overview of what exactly a Digital Brain is.
Put simply, a Digital Brain is an app or a piece of software that allows you to quickly record and recall information.
I’m sure you’ll be familiar with some of these popular Digital Brain tools:
- Apple Notes
- Google Keep
Instead of relying on your memory when learning something new, you can instead turn the information over to your Digital Brain, thus freeing up your mind for other tasks and relieving yourself of the stress of trying to remember everything. To give you an example of this, instead of trying to remember the forecasted weather for the week, you could quickly and easily check this info on your phone, tablet or laptop.
2. Spaced Repetition
As you’ll read if you click through to this article, Spaced Repetition works like this: The more often you encounter certain bits of info, the less often you’ll need to refresh your memory of it. Sounds simple? That’s because it is!
However, the Spaced Repetition technique lays out a specific map for when and how to take in new information. I’ve used this technique for years, and I can definitely testify to its effectiveness.
Here are the key steps of Spaced Repetition:
- Review Your Notes — Within 24 hours of your initial intake of information, write down notes and then review them. During the reviewing session, read your notes, but then look away and try to recall the most important points.
- Recall the Information for the First Time — After a day, try to recall the information with minimal reading of your notes. You might also want to try recalling the information when you’re taking a walk or sitting down and relaxing.
- Recall the Material Again — Next, recall the information every 24-36 hours over the course of several days. These don’t have to be lengthy recalls, instead you could do it while standing in a queue for a latte or when walking your dog. You are still free to look at your notes, but you should only do this if absolutely necessary.
- Study It All Over Again — After several days have passed since you first tried to learn the information, take out your material and study it all over again. This will allow your brain to reprocess concepts and will cement the information into your mind.
Spaced Repetition can genuinely make a difference in your ability to learn quickly. In fact, I would go so far as to say it can be the difference between failure and success.
3. Deliberate Practice
Deliberate Practice is a technique of breaking down the skill you want to acquire into separate components so you master each individual part of the skill. This technique shuns the idea of practicing something needlessly over and over again.
Imagine for a moment that you want to start your own podcast. Deliberate Practice would mean breaking down the skills of podcasting into different sections.
For example, you might need to spend time learning the technical aspects. After that you might want to work on your content and your vocal delivery. And if you’re interested in growing the audience for your podcast, you’ll need to learn some basic marketing skills.
If you tried to learn all of the above in one go, you’d probably end up confused and demotivated. However, if you learn one thing a day, you could quickly begin to master all the skills you needed to be a popular podcaster.
To make Deliberate Practice easy to adopt, just do the following when you want to learn something new:
- Break the information down into small, manageable chunks
- Create a learning schedule
- Get a mentor or coach
- Continually seek feedback
As someone who has used Deliberate Practice for many years, I can confidently say it’s a fantastic way to accelerate your learning.
4. Feedback Loop
One of the best ways of learning fast and mastering any skill you want is to use a little-known technique called a Feedback Loop — a process whereby a learner gathers information about their performance and leverages it to optimize the quality of their learning style or methods.
A Feedback Loop is made up of three stages:
- Practice/Apply – This is the stage where you put what you want to learn into action.
- Measure – This is the stage where you’re acquiring information about your performance. This is also the stage that learners typically ignore or do ineffectively.
- Learn – This is the stage where you analyze how well you performed, and make adjustments to improve and practice/apply again.
Feedback Loops can make a significant and positive difference to how you learn. It might be just what you need to turn your learning failures into successes!