Learning How to Learn: Part 2

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This is the second part to my take aways from the Learning How to Learn Course. If you are struggling to learn something new, I would recommend checking it out. They offer explanations as to why some of your past methods may not have worked, as well as new exercises that you can implement to make your learning more smooth and effective. In the short time since I finished The Iron Yard, I have found these tips to help me navigate the self learning that I do now. It is never too soon for another reminder that learning isn’t hard, but disciplining yourself to do it right takes effort, and guidance, at times.

Here are a couple more tidbits to help improve your learning.

1. Chunking
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Your working memory has about 4 slots, meaning you can hold about 4 items in your working memory before they start to disappear. If you want to really learn something, you will have to start engraining it into your long term memory. The best way to do that is chunking. Learning the information in bit sized amounts. That way you aren’t pressing to much info into your brain at once hoping that it all sticks, cause it won’t.

2. Illusions of competence

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Basically, you think you smart cause you understand the answer when you see it, or that you can talk about the subject as your learning it. To really test if you know it, you should practice recall. Close the book or computer, and then recite what you know. You may find that you don’t know as much as you originally thought you did. To avoid this, implement the practice above and in Part 1 of this series.

I think that most useful thing that I learned about was that it takes little steps to make the big difference in learning. There are not subjects that you are just not suited for, there are subjects that you may not have a good method established for learning. But with a little tweaking to your process (hello pomodoro) you will be able to accomplish anything. Really!

 
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