To give you a clear idea of how to accelerate your learning we’re going to focus on 4 key ways you can improve and grow. To find the perfect approach may require a little experimentation but once you discover the optimal learning approach for you the results will speak for themselves.
Have a Dedicated Study Space
It may sound like common sense, but if you want to focus on learning then it pays to cut out the distractions. Regardless of whether you’re studying for a PhD or just trying to brush up on your general knowledge, having a dedicated space is key. Put the distractions to one side, put your phone away, and focus on what’s in front of you. You’ll find that your powers of concentration increase tenfold and that your understanding of the new concept you’re trying to learn will be all the better for it.
Make Rough Notes and Take it From There
As with anything involved with learning, you’re not going to get it perfect first time. Taking notes is a great way to test and enhance your understanding because you force yourself to explain new topics in your own words. Avoid the temptation to try and write textbook quality notes straight away. If you do that then you’ll either waste a lot of time and energy trying to make them perfect, or you’ll end up copying large passages out of the textbook for very little gain.
Start with some rough notes on a side of paper and scribble down anything you think is important. You can add in rough diagrams and have arrows all over the place if that helps you link things together. As your understanding improves you can then go back and write up your rough notes into an invaluable study guide.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Pictures are a great way to learn, especially if you’ve drawn them yourself. If you want to explain an abstract topic to yourself then think about how you can capture it in a simple diagram. This allows you to see a whole host of information at a glance in a way that a block of text never can. Pin it to the fridge where you’ll see it several times a day and your brain will keep processing it in the background.
Definitions are More Than Just Jargon
When you take on the challenge of mastering a new topic you’ll be inundated with loads of jargon. People often go two ways when presented with this new language. Dismiss it as something they don’t need, or instantly start repeating it as if they’ve been using it for years. The secret here is to do neither. Make sure you take the time to fully understand the meaning behind each specialist world by learning 2-3 terms in expansive detail each day. This will ensure you build up a functional vocabulary in your new area of interest. Think of it as taking the time to lay the foundations for your future success.