These are some strategies I use to learn. These are influenced by Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Chef, which I read in 2016.
Choose material optimized for learning
Material beats Method 1
The best learning materials are the ones that lead you to certain core truths, philosophies, or understandings that let to adapt to any situation. They aren’t optimized for facts.
I pick resources that are:
- Step by step
- Have a clear road to implementation
- I tried learning Piano by reading a book, but it was boring and vague. So I purchased SimplyPiano.
- Similarly, for the guitar, I got SimplyGuitar.
For Programming Topics,
- I prefer platforms that allow trying out code online without any local installation.
- Codecademy is a good one. I used it for many things.
Increase the number of iterations
Increasing iterations doesn’t mean more time.
For example: If you want to make good Kanban boards, make many Kanban boards and use it regularly in your life
Similarly, use the knowledge you have learnt.
Role of Books
I don’t use books to learn everything. But certain concepts are such that they require an entire book.
I don’t buy a book instantly. I wait a few days to see if I need it.
Sometimes YouTube videos are enough to cure curiosity or find the answer.
Books are great for deep topics and have a lot of details in them.
Learn in chunks
I cannot learn something at one. If I try to do it I will have to recollection of the concepts. So I prefer doing a little every day or regularly.
This also forces me to recall what I had previously learned.
- Piano and Guitar: 10 Min a Day
- Technical Topics: Max 2 Pomodoros (25 min timers twice with 5-10 min break in middle)
- Books: 10-20 minutes max
Clear Doubts along the way
If you are stuck, search for the solution.
Usually learning from different sources helps.
Have Cheat Sheets
Cheat sheets allow recalling what you have learned instantly!
Often googling cheatsheets is sufficient.
Put into Practice Fast
Talk to other people
Using flash cards
Flashcards can be helpful addition to remembering more. In many things, there is a need to remember more.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using flashcards.
- Use 80/20 rule and focus on the few concepts worth memorizing. You want number of cards to be at a minimum.
- Assume each card is going to take 10 seconds per revision. Multiple by number of cards you create to get how much time you’ll remember.
- Know all the concepts first and organize them. Maybe use a highlighter, pen to mark them.
- If a flashcard is too big to remember, then break it down.
- Write in memorable way, good questions and for answers use diagrams, accronyms or some patterns.
- Digital Flashcards have advantage that you can modify. But maybe having less number of flashcard overall is better.
You may expect 1-2 hours of flashcard study a week. If it’s a competitive exam, then per day.
Flashcards are one part. Often discussion with others is a better way to internalize.
4 Hour Chef ↩