Hello everyone. As you know there are lots of information about programming and related topics. Sometimes is really frustrating to constantly be googling the same things over and over again. I am sick of it. I decided that I need to find a way to improve how I learn.
I already knew about a course that is very popular on the internet. I started taking this course last week. It is offered through the Coursera platform, it's called Learning How to Learn. I was trying to learn efficient ways to learn. And the course's name matches perfectly with my purpose. I finished week 1 and it is what I was looking for.
Last week, I learned multiple interesting things, one which seems to cause me more discomfort in practice is the Feynman technique. Long story short, the main idea of this technique is that you need to be able to teach any concept to any 6 years old kiddo if you fail this means that you don't truly understand the topic, and you have some knowledge gaps.
In order to practice my teaching skills and my English writing. I created this initial post which is going to be included in a series with useful things to learn more efficiently. Hopefully, some of these ideas are helpful to you.
When we are doing an activity that demands our attention perhaps you are learning a new framework or you are at work coding. Your brain is working similar to a computer, using (4 cores) where each core has a reference to a memory segment.
The better you master an activity the bigger these chunks are, given this limitation sometimes we are unable to understand new learning concepts because maybe you needed to mix more than 4 segments of memory.
Focused attention is the mode where you normally learn anything,
it is important to know its pros and cons.
- This is the only way to learn 📖 (currently). So, there is no alternative (until Elon Musk completes its neuralink 🧠).
- Allows you to master an activity or knowledge. You can internalize a task or an idea so much that you don't even need to think about it (something like playing a musical instrument 🎻)
- Understand Analogies ♻️. Allows you to recognize the context where you are and then select a specific neural pattern to use, or to reuse another neural pattern to associate with a new activity
- It is very expensive to create new neural patterns 💸 in a way that the focused mode can use them, meaning you need to invest more time to practice and study
- Distractions can take you out of the focused mode 📢
- Using too much-focused mode can become a bottleneck to learn more things 🤕 (see Diffused mode)
- You have access to 4 neural paths at the same time 📁📁📁📁.
You need to understand that focused mode by itself is not enough for learning new things. To use new neural patterns in focus mode you need to practice. The more you practice the better you become at that activity when you are in focused mode.
- Practice makes permanent 🏄♂️
- The more abstract something is the more you need to practice to master it 💡
- Learning something difficult takes time(Sorry, you can't learn C++ in 21 days 😒) this is not an opinion it is a fact
- Avoid environments with distractions 😌
- Clean and organize your desktop or wherever you are working/studying 🚮 that also includes your 40 tabs open in google chrome, get rid of those unnecessary tabs
Have you ever been stuck with a problem so bad that you get frustrated and then you change to another task or even while sleeping, all of a sudden the answer, key idea, solution comes to your mind out of nothing? This occurs when our brain is required to mix multiple neural patterns that are not frequently used together in your brain.
The solutions that come out of the blue, happens because our brains have access to limited chunks of 'memory' (4 memory segments) when thinking actively (focus on something).
Just because you can't find a solution to a given problem or you can't understand a new topic, doesn't mean that you don't have the knowledge or capacity to do it. Perhaps you are too focus that you can't see the big picture.
- Allows your brain to mix neural patterns in new ways 🆕
- Brings balance when used with focus mode ⚖️
- Can bring old neural patterns or memories 👴
- Can recognize patterns that were in front of you and you didn't realize at the moment when focusing⚠️
- You can let it happen but you can't control exactly when it is going to occur 😕
- If you are not truly compromised with what you are learning is probably that you are not going to get any new ideas 🥺
- It is more difficult to determine which knowledge comes from diffused mode and focused mode 💭
- Sometimes it feels that it is not working well. However, it could be an illusion of competence, maybe you need to learn more or you are missing important practice or information 🤔
Finally, your brain needs to wander around freely, by doing this it can combine knowledge in ways that would be difficult while focused. The diffused mode is the reason why some people suggest: 'Don't work hard, work smart'. At times, it is better to do something else otherwise you get stressed. Allow your brain to work naturally let it rest when you are stuck with a problem or when learning something new.
- Ways to trigger the diffused mode:
- Do physical exercise 🏊♀️
- Sleep 😴
- Relaxing 🛀
- Take a walk 🚶♀️
- Almost any activity that you internalize at a level where your brain doesn't need to be focus 🏆
- If you are stuck with a problem or new topic and you have more than 10 minutes without any advance, just leave it for later skip that part or use a trigger of the diffused mode 😩
- Sleep well, even if you are not having difficulties solving problems or at learning. Sleeping besides helping you to combine neural paths in interesting ways, also, clears your brain from toxins and allows your brain to remove weak neural patterns and to strengthen even the more important neural patterns 💤
- If diffused mode is not working is probably because you need to study more fundamental knowledge related to what you are doing 📜
Well, that's all for this post. For my next article, I want to talk about what are the best techniques to be a master of the focused mode.
Follow me if you want to know more about efficient learning and productivity. Thank you for reading.