Learning is hard work! Learning complex technical skills can be even harder– But Adam, the LearnToProgram super-intern found these nine top techniques to make learning easier!
#1 Focus on Big Goals
While learning it’s easy to lose track of why you’re learning in the first place. This could lead to a lack of interest and entertainment throughout the learning process. Losing the will to learn deteriorates your ability to learn quickly and productively. This is because you’ll be less likely to retain information that you aren’t interested in. Besides, attaching yourself, knowing that it could help you find a job or earn a promotion, allows for easier recollection. Because at that point it matters to you. Remind yourself of the big goals you have for the information that you’re going to be learning.
#2 Take Breaks
This one is easy to do, but perhaps the most rewarding. Being able to step away from learning and take a break to digest what you’ve learned and clear your head is vital. Additionally, if there’s something you’ve been stuck on usually stepping away and coming back helps you approach the problem in new ways. In the middle of classes, wait a while before you start the next course and take time to take in everything that you just learned.
#3 Connect New Skills to Old Skills
Being able to connect something new that you’re learning to an old skill increases your level of understanding. If you are already well versed in something then connect the dots and see where it may overlap. You might find you already know something about the new information. Most skills have a learning curve and you need to know old information to make it through new topics. So, make sure keep yourself updated on the old while you push forward with the new.
#4 Listen to Music
Our brains have the abilities to pair together memories with music. If you study listening to music then try to make sure what you’re listening to is consistent throughout sessions. It’s a lot easier to recall information you learned while listening to classical music if you were to turn on some on.
#5 Don’t Force It
It’s inefficient to cram information into your head when you aren’t willing to. Make sure that when you’re sitting down to take a course you are willing to learn at the moment. Like focusing on your big goals, making sure that you have an interest in what you’re doing helps in retaining what you’re learning.
#6 Reverse Engineer Problems
Once you solve something it’s important to understand how you were able to solve it. It’s also important to understand why it caused a problem in the first place. Work through your solutions and problems backwards. If you’re able to understand why the problem happened than the next time generating a solution will be like clockwork. Always make sure you study your mistakes to understand where you went wrong to avoid that happening next time.
#7 Ask Questions
Always, always, always ask questions. Whether you’re asking your teacher or asking yourself questions, it is one of the crucial parts of learning. If you do not understand something it is always easier to find a solution then worrying about it later. Use google to fill gaps in memory and better define things that you need to learn.
#8 Put Things on Paper
It’s been long known that writing something down helps you recall it better. Going through the act of writing something down ingrains it deeper in your memory. If gives you a closer connection to the material. Typing has become a large part of our lives, but it cannot take the place of what writing information down does for us and our memory. Writing is more stimulating and emulates the action of creating ideas.
#9 Learn Holistically
Perhaps one of the most important tips, learning holistically is difficult but increases your capacity of understanding. Seeing the little parts and understanding how they fit into the big picture is important. If you’re able to understand how two parts fit together to make something bigger you’ll be better off remembering they go hand-in-hand. Focusing on the big project and not each individual piece also provides greater motivation.