How to Learn
- Reduce content to its minimal moving parts (deconstruct, simplify, zoom out, distill).
- Start with the outcome; start at the end and work your way backwards
- Viewing the subject from a variety of perspectives
- Walk from the end goal backwards, recursively asking “Why?”
- Looking at what successful outliers are doing
- Probing the minds of experts through interviews
- Finding simple commonalities in a domain that can serve as a key to accelerate learning
Selection: analyse and find the common features (80/20)
- Choose the 20% that covers the 80%
- The Minimal Effective Dose (MED): “The lowest volume, the lowest frequency, the fewest changes that get us our desired result.”
- The what(material) is more important than the how(method)
- Choose the right order to study / learn the material
- Make it stick first, start with fun and simple
- Loose something if miss it
Compression: one-pager’s cheat sheet
- The Prescriptive One-Pager lists rules or principles that help you generate real-world examples.
- The Practice One-Pager lists real-world examples to practice, which helps you learn the principles indirectly.
Frequency: breaks / intensity(immersion) / expected progression
- Plan a study/practice schedule that provides the frequency needed to gain competency.
Encoding: zip / memorization tricks
- Find ways to associate the knowledge and skills with what you already know.
Also called space-repetition program. A practical way to do this is to create space-repetition decks and put them into a spaced repetition software, and just practice with the a few minutes every day.
- Memorizing a programming language using spaced repetition software: http://sivers.org/srs
- Space-repetition for win8 phone: http://www.kleio.info/
Do a Plan
Take into account the above rules of thumb to define a plan on how to tackle:
- What to study
- Look at the end goals and deconstruct - to define what to study
- Select: apply 80/20 rule for selection and MED
- Find ideal the material, interview Pro’s
- When to study it & Expected Outcomes
- Look into the sequencing principles - organize an ideal “growth” sequence.
- Define clear dates & outcomes for the sequence - applies the stakes principle.
- During the study (and afterwards when practicing)
- Summarize learnings in cheat-sheets, can be part of the expected outcomes - keep refining them
- Potencially use memorization / encoding tricks if/when required
- Explaining to others, forces to find clear explanations and interiorize the learnings
- Writting often helps thinking and developing subject further
- When learning be pro-activity, especially by asking many questions
- The 4-Hour Chef Book
- http://ankisrs.net/ - Remembering things: Space repetition software
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