December 20, 2018

5 Qs to learn smarter

Learning is natural to us humans, but sometimes, we can lose motivation and even sometimes end up giving up. Learning can sometimes sound like a chore and that just feels like a lot of hard work to many of us. When it comes to learning, you should always strive to work hard. But, there are days when you may not have the drive for that “chore”. That’s when you begin learning smarter instead of trying to learn harder (pretty much cramming). 

Here’s 5 questions you should ask yourself for those kinds of days: 

1. What is my goal? 

Defining a goal does one very important thing – creating a bull’s eye for you. When you have something to aim for, it’s easier to begin as you’re able to visualize a point to arrive to.  

 2. How do I usually learn? 

We all have our own effective ways of learning. By now, you might already have a clue on what way of learning works best for you. It could be reading in a quiet room on your own or even discussing the topic with a friend at a café, the point is, don’t allow yourself to feel that learning is a chore – it must be fun and engaging! 

3. How often should I take breaks? 

Depending on how you’re learning, think about the frequency of breaks you should take. Again, learning isn’t a chore so you should be able to freely enjoy yourself while feeding your brain the knowledge you need. A great tip is to use a timer for your learning with tools like the Pomodoro technique. You learn – like reading a book – for 25 minutes and then once that 25 minutes is up, take a 5 minute break. It gives your mind enough time to rest but also gives you enough learning time to retain information. 

4. How does my learning timeline look? 

Visualize how your learning timeline would look overall in a certain span of time depending on your goal. This way, just like having a goal, you can see the sub targets you need to reach first before achieving your final goal. 

5. Is learning fun for me? 

If the answer is no, then make it fun! Learning should never feel like it’s something you must do – make it so that you’re excited about it and actually want to do it, like when you’re excited to play football with friends or to go out for a movie. Learning can happen anytime and anywhere with all the tools we have today so there’s always a lot of options to make it the way you want. 

Here’s a video on the Pomodoro Technique. Try it out!