How to Learn Something Quickly

education knowledge learning personal development Mar 09, 2022

We all have to learn new things at some point in our lives. Maybe you need to learn a new skill for your job, or you're just trying to learn a new hobby. Whatever the case may be, learning something can be a challenge. This blog post will discuss several methods to help you learn something faster.

Want to learn something new but don't have much time?

Learning is a part of life. We all have to learn new things and skills from childhood to adulthood as we go through life. Learning makes us grow as an individual and opens up more opportunities. It can be a challenge to learn something new, especially if unfamiliar. However, some proven methods can help us learn something faster and more effectively.

1. Take notes the traditional way

Nowadays, one can use a laptop to take note of whatever you're listening to, such as a lecture from a professor, and type the exact words as you hear from the lecturer. Moreover, typing on a laptop is faster than taking notes on paper, making it possible to transcribe more words as you listen to them. However, studies show that taking notes by hand is more effective in memory retention and learning. That's because, with traditional notetaking, you have to think about what you are going to write on your notes. After all, you can't write verbatim because notetaking is slower than typing on a laptop unless you have a superhuman writing speed ability. So with notetaking, one has to digest the essential parts of the lecturer's words. You have to write in your own words and use bullets, lists, or acronyms to note vital information. In this way, your brain works more instead of having to type like a machine on your laptop. So the next time you are planning to use a laptop, maybe you can try typing in your own words what your professor or lecturer says to have the same effect as taking notes on a paper.

2. Use mnemonics

Mnemonic refers to a device or code used to assist memory retention. You can use acronyms, combinations of letters or numbers, images, or anything that can associate what you are trying to learn. For example, using the acronym "ROYGBIV," which sounds like a person's name, can help you remember all the colors in the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. The same technique can be used to help you remember other things. Mnemonics aid in simplifying the information you must learn in a way that is easier to remember.

3. Associate new knowledge with something you already know

Learning new material and ideas can be a challenge, especially if they fall under a subject you are not too familiar with or are not within your expertise. One way to make the learning process easier is by establishing a connection of new knowledge to what you already know. For example, suppose you are already familiar with using the different Microsoft Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In that case, it will be easier to learn the equivalent Google applications of Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The Google applications have a similar nature to the Microsoft Office applications, with only a few differences. You can say in your head, "This is just like working using the Microsoft Office apps." There is an association between the two different brands of applications. Furthermore, once you become more familiar with the Google applications, you can try venturing further and learn how to use the other Google apps since you already have experience using some of them. It's like forming a mind map of what you know and forming branches outward to expand and connect everything you are trying to learn.

4. Utilize new ways to learn information

Nowadays, there are various ways one can learn new information. Your brain will be more stimulated to retain information by using such means of learning new information. Suppose you want to buy a new gadget and know more details about it to see if your purchase will be worth it. You can learn further information by reading about the gadget's specs on a website or reading data from brochures you can get at physical stores. You can even watch product reviews on the Internet. Using multiple resources to gain information makes it easier to retain the knowledge by repeating it through different sources.

5. Utilize distributed practice

One of the practical learning methods you can use to aid your learning is distributed practice. This method entails breaking down your learning sessions into multiple short sessions spaced out evenly. You can then take a break or do something different, like writing down notes between sessions. The distributed practice method works well for long-term memory retention of information and remembering what you learn. It's comparable to taking breaks while working on something to ensure that you don't exhaust yourself and maintain good momentum. If you find yourself ineffective at doing marathon studying sessions or cramming everything in one short burst, you should try this method.

6. Take good care of your health

No matter how effective your techniques are for learning new skills and information, you will hamper your brain's ability to process information if you don't take good care of your health. Getting a good night's sleep, doing exercise regularly, eating a healthy diet, and drinking water can all help keep your body and mind in good shape. Also, don't forget to take a break if you have difficulty concentrating. Take some time off and turn your attention to something different so you can keep your focus when you have to go back to studying.

7. Use different ways to practice a skill

Doing the exact same thing repeatedly to master a skill can be tedious and leave you frustrated. One of the effective learning strategies to help you master a skill is utilizing different ways to learn the craft. For example, when you want to learn a new language, you don't have to limit yourself to reading texts, such as articles or books written in the foreign language you are trying to learn. You can try listening to audio to get a better feel about how the language is spoken. If you can, try talking to a foreign native to learn how to speak the language you want to know. Modifying the way you want to learn about something can make it more engaging to learn the skill.

Make your learning process more effective.

Not everyone has the same pace and capacity for learning, but some methods can make one learn anything faster and more effective. Deliberate practice is vital if you want to learn something new, and it can take time before you master new knowledge or skill. Utilize the techniques that work for you and be consistent and committed if you want to learn about something that can change your life.

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