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#248: Learning How To Learn

4 min read

This post is a summary about what I’ve learned so far by taking the course Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. While I’m writing this I use the Pomodoro Technique which helps me to focus on doing something for 25 minutes in a focused way without distraction and afterwards rewarding myself with a 5 minute break. I knew this technique already a long time ago but never really used it for a longer timeframe like now (I use it almost everyday for reading, learning, watching, listening stuff for around 6 months). It helps to get things done without feeling exhausted or stressed. It reminds me that the brain needs a break after some time. I started using the technique again since the beginning of 2021 because it was recommended in the book Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life. Since then for example I’ve read already more books in only half of the year 2021 (25 books) compared to the whole year 2020 (23 books). That alone is a good personal benchmark which shows how effective this technique is.

Lets start with the summary. When you take the course you will learn about the difference of the focused and diffuse mode. I will always remember the focused mode as something when you are just focused on learning something (e.g. you use the 25 minutes of the pomodoro technique without distractions). The diffuse mode I will remember this way. It’s the mode where you let go, where you let your mind wander (e.g. you take a nap, you take a walk, you are just don’t focused like you are in the focused mode). Combine the two modes is the key to learn effectively.

Sleep is important, because without a good slep you can’t effectively focus. You can also try to learn while you sleep, thanks to lucid dreaming.

Spaced repetition is something where you learn something over several days instead of doing it all in one day.

Don’t just read books, also experiment with the things you read. Learn it by doing it.

Regarding Procrastination, an effective way to do something about it, is just start doing what you have to do as soon as you know about it. It’s easier said than done like many things, but it’s just like that. Also here the pomodoro technique is helpful. Once you’ve started, it doesn’t feel so hard.

Chunking helps you combine information together through meaning. You can make a chunk by 1. having a focus intention (no distractions) 2. understand the basics and 3. gaining context.

It’s important to test yourself, to recall the things you’ve learned to learn in a much deeper level.

Learn to memorize things easily by visualizing. To remember words, make a visual story in your head e.g. walk through your house and combine objects with the words you want to remember.

Other random stuff which might be helpful:

  • Always remember that not only knowledge is power -> knowledge + action = power
  • To better know about your sleep and improve it I can recommend the Oura Ring
  • Use fixed times when you want to learn something and also put distractions away. For example put your smartphone in the basement so that it can’t distract you. Make it as easy as possible to learn something
  • exercise. It facilitates the birth of new brain cells
  • talk with others about the stuff you learn and try to explain it to them
  • be open to try new things. We are living in an era where things evolve very fast. What you learn today will probably be outdated in a short amount of time, so the ability to learn will become more and more important. It will be scarce that you will stay in your job for 40 years. You probably don’t need to work anymore, so it becomes more and more important what you really want to do with your time you have. If you are open to learn new things, the things you do in your free time will become more and more exciting