How fast can you learn anything?
In a popular book called “Chef in Four Hours”, its author Tim Ferris tells how you can learn to cook. But it’s not the only book that’s useful. Ferris shares how to quickly master any skill, be it exotic language, juggling or remembering cards in a limited time.
The author says that there are common principles for quickly obtaining any skill, and provides several recipes for those who seek to understand these laws.
The basic system consists of 4 principles, which applies to absolutely any skill:
Analysis is the first principle, which is to find the minimum amount of information to be studied from which to begin the process of acquiring knowledge or skills. At this stage, it is very important to find the “Lego bricks” that will be the basis.
Selection is to find 20% of the cases to focus on to get 80% of the result (always keep in mind the Pareto Law, it is important in any endeavor, including in order to quickly learn anything).
The step-by-step sequence is the order you should follow in learning.
Motivation for the future is to identify the real stimuli that will drive you to your final goal. Since learning something quickly is not always successful, it is worth stocking up on patience and igniting the desire to achieve the end result.
- Analyze the task
Many people refuse to perform a task because they need to recycle a huge amount of information to do so. First of all, you should understand what you need to focus on, and then break down the main task into small parts.
- start with the methods that you can apply fairly quickly.
It is very boring and uninteresting to get the skill to conjugate verbs. The result expressed in a short period of time is not possible here. However, if you remember and learn auxiliary verbs such as “want”, “have” and “to be”, you will quickly acquire this skill and learn a very functional part of the language.
Useful micro victories will allow you to maintain your “fighting spirit” and make the learning process faster and more effective.
- Finding the simplest parts will make your progress faster.
As an example, Tim Ferris cites the process of learning Japanese, which includes 1945 hieroglyphs, a huge part of which consists of fifteen lines. Today, the Japanese use only two hundred and fourteen keys, which are many times easier to cope with. Moreover, their study provides a clear way to further improve their knowledge.
- Find an individual who has used a certain skill or has shared it with others for many years.
You don’t have to look for the best expert. It is enough to get in touch with someone who is close to the topic you are studying. You will have to find a weighty argument in order to talk to them. Ask the expert how he or she would teach a specific skill to people without special abilities. It won’t be superfluous to learn about little-known good masters. You may also ask how this person sees a two-month course in a particular subject for those who would be willing to pay a seven-digit sum for it.
- Moving on to the principle of “minimum effective dose”
Small steps are easier to acquire the format of a habit (remember the 20 minute rule). So you increase your chances of not dropping what you started.
Many who strive to do everything at once, abandon the original idea. If you take on a big project, your fuse instantly disappears. Small qualitative steps do not require much effort, while allowing you to increase the productivity of the process of learning over a long distance.
When learning English, choose the most popular words. Learn them daily in a few words. As you learn to cook, it is better to concentrate on the most common cooking techniques.
- Don’t fill your short-term memory with too many one-time tasks.
The limit of short-term memory is one of the main barriers to learning any skills or knowledge. This memory department is needed for priority tasks and it fills up quickly enough.
By overloading it, you begin to make more mistakes. That’s why it’s better to make a little progress at a time so that it fits into your brain fully. After that, you can move on.
- Try new methods in an alternative to the old ones you know.
A lot of people know a way to make a fire from a hut. Surprisingly, there is another method, which is that a layer of small branches is placed on large sticks, after which the whole “structure” is covered by a newspaper. Such a scheme of cultivation of fire works no worse than a “hut”. Moreover, it requires less regulation, which makes it more efficient.
Changing the method often helps to find a simpler solution. Rapid learning is inextricably linked to finding new unexplored ways.
- Exclude the maximum number of possible options
A person tries to find as much information about the subject under study as possible. Create a list of all the most important options and data. As a result, you will be able to make a quick decision and lose some time on the search, which often takes a lot of resources.
- Accept the fact that self-discipline is not inherent in everyone, then make real bets considering the failure of your project.
No matter how motivated you are and how good a plan of action you have created, every person is characterized by a lack of self-discipline. That is why you must consider the possibility of possible failure. One method is to apply human psychology, especially the unwillingness to lose.
For example, you can make a deal with yourself about doing something you can’t stand if your work proves to be unsuccessful.
11) Keep a close eye on the key aspects of the cognitive process.
The learning process has limits – that’s a fact. At the very beginning you are enthusiastic and consume a lot of information. However, this exhausts your energy and then slows down the process due to the high load. When you grasp the basics, the learning process stops. If this happens, you have reached a critical point. You should keep a close eye on it, with everything foreseen in advance.
- Evaluate how your brain captures new knowledge.
Our brain learns best in the initial and final stages of the class. So we need to split the process in two to reduce the time in the middle. You also need to keep in mind the Restroff effect, which is that an object that stands out from a mass of similar elements is much better memorized. That’s why it’s worth separating monotonous activities with short breaks. And we must not forget about the cone of Edgar Dale’s learning.
- Think about some safety.
As an example, Tim Ferris talks about Warren Buffett, an investor who is famous for buying securities at a price below par. For this reason, we can assume that the billionaire is very likely to stay afloat when the market situation worsens. The same approach should be practiced in the learning process. We need to make sure that if you fail, you will still get a significant result. Make sure that you can avoid the worst failures and benefit from your efforts. It doesn’t matter what kind of benefit you get in the end.
- Learn from the right outstanding people…
Michael Phelps is not a worthy example, as this person has good physical data and great sports experience. It is better to pay attention to those people who did not stand out, and then became outstanding personalities. They are the ones who have the techniques that you can use for yourself.