Ways to Improve Your Ability to Learn New Skills
Regardless of what you want to do or convert if you want to be a competitor, he masters the ability to learn that puts you in the game and keeps you there. -H.L. Roediger on Make It Stick
Knowing how to actively grow and develop a skill is a skill in itself. By understanding how learning principles work, it will be easier to learn new skills in the future.
Therefore, it is worth the effort to understand this process, as it can save you hours of practice and frustration.
Meta-task learning to learn is, in my opinion, one of the most important skills you can have since it can be applied to everything you want to learn. Here are seven ways to improve your learning:
1. Take action - Learn a skill
The biggest mistake of all is not acting when action is needed. -John Wood
To learn a skill, you must actively practice it. So if you just read how you can improve your learning skills then you gain knowledge. When you use it, it improves your ability to learn.
Therefore, the best way to improve this skill is an ongoing project of skill learning. Working on a skill can help you understand the principles of skill development and better understand the learning process.
If you need the inspiration to learn a new skill, I can recommend that you start your own 100-hour challenge by trying to improve your skill with 100 hours of practice as much as possible.
2. Dismantle a skill
The most effective way to improve complex skill is sub-skill.
Each skill is made up of several sub-skills. To progress faster, it is helpful to find the most important sub-skills and focus on improving them. In general, it is more effective to improve certain sub-skills at the same time so as not to overwhelm the learning experience.
To break down a skill, for example, you can use the skill tree method described by Danny Forest in this article, or create a kind of mind map or list that includes all possible sub-skills. Always try to learn the most basic sub-skills first.
3. Always look for ways to improve
If you don't look for what makes you better, you will never find it.
You can cook for 50 hours without becoming a much better cook. There are many examples of restaurants serving mediocre food even after decades of existence. Since they do not seek to improve, they never will. You can only improve if you research new methods and experiment with them. This requires effort and attention, and without these two ingredients, it is very difficult to improve skills.
If you really want to improve, it is useful to judge for yourself how you can develop your own game or skills. It is also helpful to think about how each lesson ended and how it could be improved next time.
It's a completely different way of thinking than simply showing up during training and following a coach's instructions. If this sounds like your normal exercise routine, try to determine why different exercises are performed and specific instructions are given.
4. See the challenge as a great learning opportunity
The real goal is not to practice, but progress. Never confuse simple activity with performance. -John Wood
I often avoided learning opportunities because I was embarrassed not to be able to perform certain skills. A lot has changed since I now know that the fastest way to improve my skills is when something seems difficult.
Anything that seems too easy is probably something you already know how to do, and you probably won't learn much from it.
Eustress is a word that describes how you should feel while exercising. Eu- is a Greek prefix for "healthy". "Healthy stress" is something that pushes you to push your limits, do things you never thought you could do, and expand your range of comfortable actions. This type of stress is useful and stimulates growth.
Be prepared to take risks and get yourself into tough situations where you have to go through an embarrassing time when you are not very good but ultimately improve the performance of a particular skill.
5. Find the optimal time of day to practice
High-performing employees exercise more frequently in the morning when independent research has shown that people have the greatest ability for complex and demanding activities during the day. -K. A. Ericsson
Much attention and effort are needed to implement good practices. Therefore, it is important that you consider doing your practice at a time of day when you are rested enough to fully focus on the task you are learning.
To improve your skills, you must be at the limit of your current skills. When you're tired, you can't push yourself to reach that limit.
Professionals plan their entire day around their practice and schedule their practice time during their waking hours. It is often in the morning, but it can vary from person to person.
If you want to train more than once a day, it's generally a good idea to separate practice periods with a longer break in between. It can be helpful to eat well and stay hydrated and relax your mind with some other activity. A good rest has been shown to be very useful for learning (many artists take a nap during the day).
6. Create a learning environment that facilitates the practice
Human skills can be developed. The environment must help people develop these skills and harness their potential.
A good learning environment makes it easy to practice your skills and contains few distractions.
If you want to learn to play the guitar, it's probably better to have it outside in the living room where you see it all the time than in the back of a closet. You want to make practice as easy as possible.
For a good learning environment, you should focus entirely on learning. Therefore, it is preferable to eliminate any distraction to facilitate practice. If you can, consider how you can prevent your phone, friends, or family from interfering with your practice.
Try to find a place where you can easily practice. If you have to sit in traffic for an hour to get there, you're tired when you arrive and less likely to exercise.
7. Pay attention to learn a new skill
My greatest skill was being teachable. I was like a sponge. Although I thought my coaches were wrong, I tried to listen and learn something. -Michael Jordan
Just because you're rested and alert doesn't mean you pay attention during your workout. To quickly learn a skill, you must fully focus on the task at hand and feedback on what you are doing, your coach, and your own interpretation of your actions.
This means that knowing and discussing what happened over the weekend during training prevents your attention from doing its best. If you want to improve, it is better to leave this type of discussion before or after the training.
Instead, you want to focus on the little solutions you can do to get better performance and keep trying to focus on the details that can help you improve your skills.