Learning a new skill is a daunting task. It’s something that takes time, effort, and hard work. For some people it’s easy (like those with a photographic memory), but for others, it’s a very difficult and stressful process.
The fact is, it isn’t just about recall; it is about changing the dynamics of how we learn, to build flexibility into our learning methods. For those out there that consider themselves “quick learners,” here at 5 methods you should use if you are struggling with that new skill or task.
A short but effective sentence to remember is, “repetition leads to mastery.” The more you practice the skill, the better you will become. Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” For example, here at Sharn, our welders had to practice their skill of MIG and TIG welding, and still sometimes make mistakes. But, that’s why we have welding interns here for them to make those mistakes in the field, learn from them, and then keep practicing until it becomes mastered.
A lot of times we are unable to focus due to distractions in our environment such as social media, multi-tasking, and working in an open-concept office. According to Time.com, us humans now lose concentration after 8 around seconds (goldfish have can sustain around 9….)
Yet focus is what is required to fully understand and absorb any subject. Steve Jobs had a great quote that relates to focusing. He said, “people think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
Context and Detail
The key is to look at the big picture first. A good example of this is when reading a book, it’s a great idea to read the table of content first so you get a sense for where the overall context is headed. If you start too early on the details, you’ll miss the context of the whole, miss details altogether, and understand only the superficial. All in all, context and depth equals surface and depth.
Learning the context and detail gives a sense of relationships among the information., which is very important for retained learning. A great example given for this is when card players recall the order that the cards are in by creating a story to go with the faces on the card. This is called creating a relationship with the cards. Building relationships across the themes you’re studying is one of the best ways to accelerate and retain learning.
Pace puts us under different types of pressure and because of this, we adjust our learning methods. Putting ourselves through this variability builds our capacity, much in the same way that a long distance runner may do hill sprints to work on his or her overall fitness. A great exercise to practice pace is when you’re practicing for a speech. When you’re on the last round of practicing, try saying the speech two times fast so it makes your brain retain the information easier. This way when you’ve got the speech memorized at double speed, it will be less stressful to remember at normal speed
Working here at Sharn, we find ourselves practicing these five important methods of learning new skills. When we speak with customers, it is very important that we look at the big picture and make sure we get every context and detail precise, keep up the pace, maintain relationships, and focus.
For more information on our products and services, check out our website at http://www.sharndisplays.com or give us a call at 815-464-9715.