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[Learning Notes] Learning to Learn: The Techniques

Now that things have been sorted out and ideas have been laid down, it is finally time to learn The Techniques.

  • Pomodoro Technique This is setting your work in cycles of focus and break times. For example, 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off. It can be as long or as short as you need or as you are able to do. These cycles will allow you to move between the two modes of thinking in good time and beat procrastination. When scheduling your tasks, do the worst or most distasteful stuff first.
  • Chunk the Subject Divide and Conquer When learning anything new or attempting to solve a problem, it is always easier to divide them into smaller, more manageable chunks or bits that you can store in memory faster and easier.
  • Spaced Repetition Revisited This technique has already been mentioned in a different context. This time, we learn that overlearning is not good. Learning a topic is done best when the repetition is paced. Writing things down in a notebook is one of the best tools for repetition.
  • Deliberate Practice Revisited Remember: (1) avoid the easy stuff, and (2) take on challenging projects. Focus and always ask yourself: "Have I done this before? What is it?" Always seek immediate feedback and do not forget to write down your progress. When assessing whether something is worth the practice time, look for the butterflies - these are the things that make you just scared, but you can actually take on.
  • Create a Roadmap Before you go into a topic to learn it, learn around it first. That is, research the topic and the materials you are looking to use to ensure that you are learning the most useful things.
  • Interleaving Learn different, but similar, skills together and learn them in different ways.
  • Einstellung In other words, "rigid mindset." This is when you find that you are set in your ways and refuse new things. Endeavor to break out of it with integrative complexity or the willingness to accept multiple perspectives. Do not harden your mind. Instead, learn to ask yourself, "What is Option C?" Strong opinions are usually covering insecurities.
  • Importance of Community Your community will be able to point out your blindspots, you can get immediate feedback, you can overcome obstacles, get motivated, and, most of all, accountability. Be surrounded by people who propel you to be better.
  • Habits Revisited You might have heard of it, but you should know that it works: "don't break the chain." Even if you find yourself in a day when you can't do much, do it anyway. Five minutes put in on one day is always going to be better than zero minutes. To help you create your habits, or change them, if you need to, remember to make it obvious, easy, attractive and satisfying.
  • System vs Goals Goals are rigid objectives. Systems are things you do regularly while constantly improving. Goals are better for short-term things, so don't make them too big.
  • The Power of the Senses The way to make the strongest neural connections in the brain is by invoking as many senses as possible.
  • Pareto Principle Revisited 20% of activity leads to 80% of the desired result The main idea is to always start your learning with the most critical 20% of the subject. This will enable you to get a boost at the very beginning.
  • Parkinson's Law It is said, "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." In other words, a task set to be completed in a month will be completed in a month. A task set to be completed in a week will be completed in a week. Make deadlines for your tasks and acknowledge those deadlines. Otherwise, the work will just keep on going.
  • Stakes and Rewards Focus on small rewards. It is important to give ourselves small rewards because this makes us feel good which then boosts motivation. Stakes are the things that we lose by not improving. What happens if you don't achieve your goals? These are things that you need to know and remember to acknowledge because these will go into your drive. Otherwise, you will simply not care. Reward yourself, but remember to hold yourself accountable at the same time.
  • Concepts vs Facts Facts are stuff you can simply look up. Concepts are for your brain. Occasionally, you can also look up concepts, but they aren't things that you can simply regurgitate. Concepts are more important than facts. So, focus on the concepts more.
  • Test Yourself At the end of the day, you need to understand how much you have really learned, but don't stop there. Find the pain points and understand why you got them wrong. Feedback will always matter.

The key is to remember that these things work best together. You can't just pick one technique and use only that. Different techniques will get you to the critical point.

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