A few basic learning strategies can help you in your career or business. They also can make you the person who always has something interesting to say.
No matter how well you think you’re doing, you always can learn more efficiently. Set your goal to use one or all six of these learning strategy techniques. Practice the ones you choose until they become habit then choose another.
1. Create Anticipation and Curiosity
You learn more effectively with curiosity and anticipation working for you, but how do you create this state of mind? One way is to end each learning session with a question or two clearly in your mind. This creates the sense of anticipation and curiosity that will help you next time you study. It’s like a TV show going to a commercial at an interesting moment in the program. You want to stay tuned, to see what happens next.
2. Prepare To Learn
When you want to learn new material, expose your mind to it as soon as possible, before you even feel “ready,” or have time to study. The first stage of learning is the part where you look at new ideas and say, “huh?” It’s important to do this quickly. Reviewing everything for a few minutes, and your other than conscious mind will start “incubating” the new concepts, and finding some way to organize them.
3. Relate What You Know To The New Knowledge
When you sit down to study new material, relate it to what you already know. Compare and contrast things, saying to yourself, “That’s like…,” or “How is that different from…” Autoresponders were new to me when I started my weekly newsletter and then Elaine helped me change it from just “my weekly email” to “Throttle Up Thursday! The concept of a regular weekly email, Throttle Up Thursday, sunk in and motivated me when I thought, “it’s staying connected to people I’ve met.” This prompted some really good questions, and I was ready to learn.
4. Use Your Imagination
Changing your perspective is one of the great learning strategies. For example, study with the idea in mind that you will be teaching what you’re learning. As you study something, imagine how you’ll teach it. This is a powerful way to get a good grasp on new information. Also imagine how you’ll use what you are learning. There’s so much information, and so little of it is the truly “important stuff.” But by imagining how you’ll use the new information, you tend to automatically focus on the things you really need to know.
5. Take Breaks
You can learn more by working less. The research shows that we remember best what we study first and last in a given session. So, by taking breaks, you create more “sessions,” and increase the number of firsts and lasts. Move around during your breaks, as this can also keep your mind fresh.
6. Finding Time
What if it took no extra time to learn a new language, take a negotiating course, or study something new and interesting? Start using the dead-time in your day, the time driving in your car, or on the bus, or in a waiting room. Audible has almost any book you could want available for a small investment in yourself and then there is you local Public Library. With both you can instantly download books on their internet site. This is one of the most under-utilized and easiest learning strategies. If your daily commute is 25 minutes away you spend 200 hours per year sitting in your car going to or from work. Why not learn something useful if you had four hours per week of audio instruction for a year?
Good luck in meeting your goals! Why not try one of these strategies? And if not one, why not more than one?