The world is changing rapidly, and to keep up with the changes and stay afloat, it is worth taking the slogan “lifelong learning” to heart. How about learning a new specialty in adulthood, not losing enthusiasm, and not giving up? For example, how to learn a foreign language without procrastination and self-loathing?
Sometimes you want to drop your classes and get distracted by Teen Patti or other online casino games in India. But instead, it’s better to come up with a reward you’ll gift yourself after you study. Then, the desire for distraction will disappear. It and other tips from the book “Think Like a Mathematician” by Barbara Oakley. How to Solve Any Problem Faster and More Effectively.” The information in the book is about learning math and science, but it can easily be used to make learning any area easier for you. We’ve selected some actionable tips for you to apply today.
Before you study something, look at the big picture.
Sometimes we dive into a new topic like a swimmer from a tower and absorb new information page by page. More often than not, this results in information falling apart into fragments, and you need help understanding how one message relates to another. What is the smartest thing to do? Before you dive into a topic:
- Study the table of contents of the textbook.
- Run your eyes over a chapter.
- Look at the online course syllabus.
That way, you’ll get the big picture and know how the phenomena you’re about to study are related and what role this or that concept plays. Invariably, when starting a new course or a new topic, it takes 5-10 minutes to see what fragments it consists of and how individual paragraphs are related.
Don’t Leave Classes for Later
Remember the student days when you mastered half of a year-long course overnight? Don’t repeat those feats now. You will learn superficially by studying a new topic under time pressure, and only the basic concepts will remain in your head. Instead, the best approach is daily, not-too-long classes that help you consistently and steadily get closer to your goal.
Reward yourself for studying
If learning is complex for you, try changing your approach. Turn off your phone ringtones, close any tabs that might distract you, and focus on your studies for 25 minutes. To do this, set a timer, so you don’t have to look at your watch or get distracted. Spend those 25 minutes fully immersed in learning new material – reading a textbook, watching a video lesson, or completing an assignment. When the timer sounds, reward yourself for your hard work. Then, you can have a coffee and a break, stretch your legs, and allow yourself to surf the Internet – it’s essential to do something enjoyable. Practice this approach 2-3 times a day, and you will see that the lessons become more accessible to you. The book’s author advises focusing not on the result of learning but on the process. Your task is not to think about how much you need to do to reach your goal but to practice for 25 minutes. This approach helps to avoid procrastination.
Practice focused and distracted attention
The human brain can work in two “modes.” The first, focused attention, is used to dive into a problem and find a solution. When a thought moves quickly from one fragment to another, the second, scattered attention is just as crucial for learning because it helps you find unexpected solutions. An excellent practice for learning a new topic: switch your attention. Spent half an hour solving a complex problem, utterly focused on it? Take a break. You can play sports, take a bath, meditate, and listen to music – these activities are great for shifting your attention. Perhaps by “rebooting,” you can easily find the answer or solution you weren’t getting when you were focused on the task.
Replay what you have learned from memory
When reviewing a textbook you’ve already read, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’ve memorized everything. However, it can happen that when the book or study materials are no longer in front of your eyes, all the new information will slip your mind. Try reproducing the primary thoughts you learned after reading a chapter or watching an online lesson to prevent this from happening.
Repeat the material. And not just at the study table
Use interval repetition to transfer knowledge into your long-term memory and not disappear into a fog a couple of days after the lesson. The principle resembles a workout: to pump up your muscles, you must regularly perform exercises in 2-3 approaches. To memorize the information, you must repeat it 3-5 times. And not five times in one day, but one time in five days. Only in this way will you be sure that the new knowledge will stay with you. In addition, it’s better to repeat what you’ve learned, not only in the place where you study. Mentally return to the new information during your walks, on your way home, and during your workouts. It will form neural connections, making your thinking more flexible and faster.
To build that funnel, you need to know the definition of a sales funnel. So when learning a new topic, take the time to do exercises. Exercise as much as you can, and your brain will get used to referring to and using new knowledge. For training, choose activities of different types to avoid “working out”: a situation where you solve problems “on automatic” but cannot cope with another exercise.
Get into the habit of learning
If you start an exercise and return to it after a while, it will be harder and harder to start over again. You will procrastinate, postpone classes, and ensure it’s not for you. To avoid this, study every day, preferably at the same time. Make learning new things a habit, like brushing your teeth in the morning.
- Try to practice a little, but every day.
- Form a ritual connected with learning—for example, study at a particular time.
- Make it easy for yourself to study. Set up a place for looking, and put a notebook for notes or other items you need. Make learning comfortable for you.
- Don’t expect quick results. However, small steps each day will lead to success.
- Remember to reward yourself for every step along the way.
We hope that with these tips, you will learn even more effectively. Good luck!