A Simple But Effective Way To Learn Every Day
Just because you’ve left school doesn’t mean that you should stop learning. In fact, I would argue that you should never stop learning new things.
From learning new skills to advance your career, to learning to making nutritious meals for your family, to learning how to build a website, there are so many possibilities.
By embracing a growth mindset, that is, one that strives for continued learning and improvement, chances are that you’ll lead a more fulfilled and generally happier life.
If you are at least somewhat intrigued by this idea but want to learn how you can apply it to your own life to learn every day, then read on!
Try To Learn Something New Every Day
Every day brings with it the opportunity to learn new things. From life-changing insights to fun facts.
When you’re at work, are you doing something you’ve never done before?
Is there a new project that you’re working on that has some aspect that’s totally new to you?
Was there a word you came across today that you had no idea what it meant? Did you Google that word to find out it’s meaning?
If you are doing anything along these lines, then you’re learning!
If you don’t pay attention to it though, you’ll easily miss how much you continue to learn each day.
If you have read or are at least familiar with The Bullet Journal, then you will know the benefits of regular reflection.
With that in mind, consider adding a “Today I Learned” collection into your bullet journal. If you don’t use a bullet journal, simply write this into a regular notebook or you could track this digitally inside of Notion or something similar.
In your “Today I Learned” collection, you can add something you learned each day as you reflect back on what you did that day.
This may take some time to get used to but over time your mind will easily be able to recall the things you’ve learned.
Your brain will be primed to think, “hey this is something new”, and you’ll enjoy the process of writing these down.
The Feynman Technique
Now that we’ve looked at collecting or reminding yourself of the things you’re learning, it’s time to talk about how you can learn more complex or larger scale things.
For instance, if you want to learn and understand the 10 Usability Heuristics For User Interface Design, or a complex scientific term.
The Feynman Technique can be used to learn pretty much anything you set your mind to.
You may have heard the adage “explain it to me like I’m 12”. Well, this is essentially what the Feynman Technique boils down to.
Let’s examine the steps involved in practicing the Feynman Technique:
- Determine your topic or what you want to learn about
- Imagine that you are going to teach that topic to a 12-year-old.
- Write down what you know about that topic
- If there is anything you are still unsure of, refer back to the source material until you better understand.
- This is where your mind will really start to work. You’re more likely to remember these things that you were initially unsure of.
- Revise your notes until you are happy.
- Review and simplify your notes until you have a clear understanding of the topic.
- Start by reading your notes out loud.
- If anything still sounds complicated, this is a good sign that you still don’t understand things fully.
- Keep reviewing and revising your notes until you understand the topic.
By breaking down a complex topic into its most basic components and explaining them in your own words as if you’re explaining them to a kid, you’ll be able to fully understand that topic.
As well as this, understanding something is the key to remembering it.
This concept is highlighted in the book How To Take Smart Notes which for me has really changed the way I think about learning and taking notes.
If that sounds interesting to you and you want to delve a little deeper into the area of smart notes, I highly recommend you check out my book notes that I took from reading the book here: How To Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens
The best example of the “explain it to me like I’m 12” concept that I’ve seen is from The Office TV show where Oscar is trying to explain the business term “Surplus” to his boss Michael who has no idea what it means.
I’ve linked to this clip below for you to watch and enjoy.
Inspiration For Continuous Learning
If you’re looking for inspiration to develop a practice of continuous learning, then it’s always a good idea to look to those that inspire you.
By surrounding yourself with people that are smarter or “better” than you, you’ll be more motivated to learn from those people to in turn make yourself better.
A particularly excellent YouTuber that takes this continued learning practice to the extreme is Mike Boyd.
In each video, Mike sets about learning and mastering a completely new skill, ranging from solving a Rubik’s cube to learning the violin.
I highly recommend checking out his channel. From watching his videos, I was inspired to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube myself.
Now I have them all over the house and can solve them in under 2 minutes pretty consistently; something I never would have thought I could do previously.
With all of that being said, the inspiration for this article came from reading the book Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon.
In the book, the author encourages the reader to be curious and willing to learn new things.
I found reading this book to be very motivating for me to develop a practice of continuous learning.
That is why I wrote this article to share with you.
Thank you for reading to the end of the article. I hope you enjoyed it!
Here are my key takeaways from this article:
- Try to learn something new every day. Write down something new you have learned in your “Today I Learned Collection”.
- For learning anything new and complex, use the Feynman Technique to break it down into it’s simplest form and explain it in your own words.
- Seek out others that are continually learning new things.
If you found some value in reading this article, please consider sharing it on social media. It will help others to find it and that would really help me out.