There are two kinds of thinking, focused and diffused.
Focused thinking involves working on a singular task.
Diffused thinking happens when you’re not focused on anything.
Learning happens at the crossover of these two kinds of thinking.
Procrastination usually happens when you reach a difficult point and find it uncomfortable to keep going.
The Pomodoro technique is effective in combatting this. This is where you work for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes.
Sleep is perhaps the best way to engage unconscious diffused thinking.
Being in focused mode is to brain cells what lifting weights is to muscles. You’re breaking them down.
Sleep provides an opportunity for them to repaired and for new connections to be formed.
Spaced repetition involves practising something in small timeframes and as you get better at it, increasing the amount of time between each timeframe.
A chunk is formed by first grasping an understanding of a major concept and then figuring out where to use it.
Ask: What are the important concepts to learn? Then, where should you apply them?
Spend time and effort trying to create chunks. Instead of learning every intricate detail, seek out what the major concepts are. Figure out how to apply them by testing yourself. Work through example problems.
The danger of becoming an expert in something is losing the ability to think like an amateur. You get so good at the way that’s always worked, you become blind to the new.
Have an open mind and don’t be afraid of asking the stupid questions.
Bring the information you’ve just learned back to your mind without looking back at it.
Rereading the same thing over and over again can give you an illusion of understanding it. But recalling it and reproducing the information in your own words is a way to figure out which parts you know and which parts you don’t.
Focus on the process.
Thinking about the outcome of your learning is the quickest way to get discouraged about it. Because there is no end. Learning is a lifelong journey.
Create a to do list the night before, including the time of day you’ll call it quits.
Putting things down means they’re out of your head and you can devote all of your brainpower to focused thinking rather than worrying about what it was you had to do later.
Learning doesn’t happen in a straight line. Learning looks more like a broken staircase than a straight line.
Learning tough skills doesn’t happen over the course of days or weeks or months. Years is the right timeframe for most things.
The first year you learn something new you might not be very good. The second year you might be worse because you realise how much you don’t know.
There’s no need to envy those who seem to know what they’re doing. Every genius starts somewhere.
Even Charles Darwin was a college dropout.
... as it can be applied to any other skill. So if you want to improve your ability to do anything, learning how to learn is something you should dedicate time to.
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