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Let Go of the Learning Baggage

https://fs.blog/2017/04/learning-baggage/

fs.blog

Let Go of the Learning Baggage
We all want to learn better. That means retaining information, processing it, being able to use it when needed. More knowledge means better instincts; better insights into opportunities for both you and your organization. You will ultimately produce better work if you give yourself the space to learn.

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Learning is necessary for our success and personal growth

But we can’t maximize the time we spend learning because our feelings about what we ‘should’ be doing get in the way.

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When our brains equate learning and work

When our brains equate learning and work

If we are learning for work, then in our brains learning equals work. So we think we have to do it during the day, at our workplace.

We think that walking is not learning. It’s ‘taking a break’. We instinctively believe that reading is learning. Having discussions about what you’ve read, however, is often not considered work, again it’s ‘taking a break’.

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The focused and diffuse thinking modes

When mastering a subject, our brain has two general modes of thinking: focused and diffuse, both important in the learning process.

The focused mode is what we traditionally associate with learning. But we need time to process what we pick up, to get this new information integrated into our existing knowledge. We need time to make new connections. This is where the diffuse mode comes in.

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Breaks and brain connections

Our brains have two modes:

  • focused mode, which we use when we’re doing things like learning something new, writing or working) and 
  • diffuse mode, which is our more relaxed, daydreamy mode when we’re not thinking so hard.

The mind solves its stickiest problems while daydreaming—something you may have experienced while driving or taking a shower.

Breaks help us reevaluate our goals

When you work on a task continuously, it’s easy to lose focus and get lost in the weeds. In contrast, following a brief intermission, picking up where you left off forces you to take a few seconds to think globally about what you’re ultimately trying to achieve. 

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Learning how to learn

Learning how to learn is a meta-skill. It is a critical skill for everyone who needs to pick up and master new concepts frequently.

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Learning skills

Learning how to learn is critical for everyone. Most of us have to deal with a changing world and to learn how to manage tons of new information.

However, most of our learning methods are outdated and far from optimal. It may even be giving us an illusion of learning, like re-reading and highlighting that don't provide proper feedback to show what you haven't learned.

Focused and Diffuse Mode

Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.

  • The focused mode of learning is about bringing related concepts together into a unit, called a chunk. 
  • The diffuse mode operates through a wider net of connecting general ideas across different fields. We use this diffuse mode while we sleep, exercise or daydream.

Success And Buying Too Many Books

Many of us buy lots of books that go unread and causes us guilt, but that’s a habit that many successful people have they believe they are better off for it.

For those who actually put in the...

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

View Books As An Experiment

It costs you money and time, but it may pay for itself by changing your life for the better. It’s an experiment. And the more “smart” experiments you perform, the more likely you are to find a breakthrough experiment that changes everything.

Inherent in being a good experimenter is being OK with the losses. Therefore, remember that every time you purchase a book that turns out to be a dud, you are just one step closer to a book that will change your life.