Josh Kaufman’s book How to Self-Learn Anything details his strategies and methods for mastering six skills — yoga, programming, touch typing, Go, ukelele, and windsurfing — in just 20 hours.
Similar methods can help you reach your objectives. The key is making learning enjoyable, straightforward, and productive.
1. Make a Learning Plan
Learning something new can be done in many ways. You can read books, take notes, watch videos and even converse with other people. But if you want to master anything quickly and efficiently, you need more than just consumption of knowledge.
Constructing a learning plan is an excellent way to organize your studies and reach goals. Additionally, it keeps you accountable for progress and prevents you from overlooking important details.
A successful learning plan should contain a comprehensive list of all materials necessary, dates and times for each activity, as well as what you hope to gain from each lesson. Additionally, it should outline how you’ll teach each lesson effectively.
A well-crafted learning plan can maximize your lessons and guarantee everyone in the classroom gets the most from their education. It also gives you insight into which type of teaching style works best for each student, enabling you to tailor your teaching methods according to their individual needs.
2. Read Books
Reading books is the most effective way to educate yourself. They offer a wealth of knowledge and serve as an inspiring source.
Reading not only imparts knowledge on a particular subject, but it also sharpens your vocabulary and sharpens your mind. Furthermore, reading can improve memory retention and help prevent Alzheimer’s disease from taking hold.
Noting down what you read while you read can help you better comprehend it and retain it later. One of the best methods for taking notes is through the Feynman Technique, named after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman.
Asking questions during the reading process can help you gain a deeper understanding of what you’re discovering. For instance, ask yourself why certain people became trading partners or how they learned how to construct ships and navigate the seas.
There are various ways to learn, but it’s essential that you find what works best for your individual needs. Some students excel at studying visually while others take handwritten notes; still others find listening to a lecture more beneficial than studying on their own.
3. Take Notes
Take notes! As you may have heard, taking notes is an essential component of learning. Studies show that students who take accurate and legible notes retain more of the material presented in class. Reviewing their notes at a later date allows them to review key points, remember essential details, and consolidate their understanding.
When taking notes, there are various techniques to choose from depending on what you’re studying. For instance, if you’re learning a foreign language, using a mind map could be beneficial in noting down words along with their associated colors and images.
Another effective method for recording key ideas is the outline method. This type of note-taking organizes the most significant thoughts into a sequential list that can be numbered with Roman numerals or organized by topic in an organized diagram.
This method of note-taking is often employed by college and university students, and can be an effective way to organize your notes for the course. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to prioritize ideas using this approach.
4. Read Online
The internet is full of blog articles and books that can educate you on a range of topics. Many of these resources also allow for note taking so you can make connections and build relationships.
Reading a variety of content when learning anything is imperative, but especially so when self-educating. Doing so will give you a solid foundation and enable you to gain an in-depth comprehension of a subject.
Another effective way to enhance your knowledge is reading up on the subject and its history. Doing so will give you a deeper appreciation for its significance to society as a whole.
Project Gutenberg is one such example; this website allows users to download free e-books from classic works of literature.
Reading online is an effective way to expand your knowledge in a short amount of time. It may be challenging to focus on reading a book or watching an online video when you have other commitments, so limiting distractions will make the process simpler for you.
5. Watch Videos
YouTube provides a vast library of educational videos that can help you develop new skills, solve problems, and increase your knowledge base. Topics range from driving a car to fixing computers to making jewelry. There’s something for everyone on YouTube!
To make sure your video is engaging and effective, incorporate animations, arrows, and shapes to keep things interesting while driving home key points.
Additionally, break your information up into manageable chunks for viewers to easily digest. Doing this makes the video more logical and allows viewers to skip around when they don’t wish to watch everything at once.
Another way to keep viewers interested is having them switch scenes frequently. This will help maintain their attention and keep them watching for longer.
Finally, ensure your videos are concise and to the point – no longer than six minutes is recommended. According to Guo, Kim, and Rubin’s research, students spent on average watching streaming videos for six minutes maximum, so this serves as a good general guideline.
6. Ask Questions
One of the best ways to learn is by asking questions. It can help you develop a new skill, enhance communication abilities, or simply gain more insight into a topic. Asking questions is often the quickest way for self-learners to gain this kind of understanding.
When asking a question, it’s essential to consider your tone and body language. A loud, sweeping question may convey hostility or intimidation while an intentional and soft-spoken inquiry can convey an air of sincerity and even invitation.
It’s also wise to give students time to consider their answers. It can take 5-10 seconds for them to formulate an answer, so interrupting them too soon may leave them with the impression that their input has been dismissed or that their contribution isn’t valued.
Asking questions is an ideal way to build connections and involve others in your learning process. Additionally, it boosts confidence levels and enhances language abilities.
7. Make Connections
If you’re seeking to develop a new skill or improve something, making connections can be invaluable. They may teach you things that would otherwise go unsaid, provide fresh perspectives on your objectives, and allow for personal and professional growth that might otherwise not occur.
Connections are the glue that holds everything together in this world, so make sure you invest the time and energy into building those meaningful connections that will enhance your life.
One of the best ways to create connections is by listening attentively. Listening allows someone else to feel heard and understood, which can be a great way to start any relationship off on the right foot.
Another effective strategy for making connections is asking yourself what the text reminds you of and how it differs from other texts you have read. These guiding questions can help students make connections while reading, improving their comprehension in the process.
8. Take Action
Making the most of your newfound knowledge requires action. This could be something as straightforward as learning how to take a photo, or it could involve applying tips from books or blog posts into real life. Taking action ensures that what you learn sticks, so don’t be afraid to test it out!
To maximize learning outcomes, create a learning plan that includes multiple methods like reading books, watching videos, taking notes, asking questions and connecting with others. Doing this helps you make the most of your time, energy and money while guaranteeing desired outcomes. Be sure to set achievable objectives within an acceptable amount of time so you don’t waste any resources.