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How to Learn Anything: The Sonmez 10-Step System - The Polymath Project - Medium

The Research Phase

  1. Get the big picture. Scan articles etc. to get an idea of what the field is about.
  2. Determine scope. Limit the size of what you want to learn. “Physics” or “philosophy” is too wide and will take decades. “Classical mechanics”, while still wide, might be a bit easier.
  3. Define success. Make a clear goal for your learning.
  4. Find resources 
  5. Create a learning plan from what you have learned in you previous steps.
  6. Filter resources. Narrow down your resource list (Step 4) to the most important essentials.

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How to Learn Anything: The Sonmez 10-Step System - The Polymath Project - Medium

How to Learn Anything: The Sonmez 10-Step System - The Polymath Project - Medium

https://medium.com/the-polymath-project/how-to-learn-anything-the-sonmez-10-step-system-30f343cf1112

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Learning and practice

Acquiring information is not learning.

Although textooks can help, they only work when combined with practice.

The Research Phase

  1. Get the big picture. Scan articles etc. to get an idea of what the field is about.
  2. Determine scope. Limit the size of what you want to learn. “Physics” or “philosophy” is too wide and will take decades. “Classical mechanics”, while still wide, might be a bit easier.
  3. Define success. Make a clear goal for your learning.
  4. Find resources 
  5. Create a learning plan from what you have learned in you previous steps.
  6. Filter resources. Narrow down your resource list (Step 4) to the most important essentials.

The Learning Phase

  1. Learn enough to get started.
  2. Playing around with the information will give context and tacit knowledge to go back and do more verbal, analytic learning.
  3. Learn enough to do something useful with it.
  4. Teach. It is the only way to know for sure that you’ve learned something and a great way to fill in the gaps in your learning.

Two big lessons in learning

The first lesson is that learning is a loop.

It’s not a pretty loop, and it looks something like this: play → study → teach → play → study → play → study → teach … and so on.

The other big lesson? Learning is about play.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Dr. Seuss

It is better to know how to learn than to know.

Dr. Seuss
False Beliefs About Self-Education

Despite having easy access to information, few people take full advantage of the opportunity we have for self-directed learning.

We still believe that in order to learn something, we need to be formally educated on it, when in fact we're able to educate ourselves.

Self-Education In The 21st Century

Self-education is the core skill for the 21st century.

Our ability to respond to changes in the landscape of work and technology will be dictated by how skilled self-educators we are, how well we can take full advantage of the information available to us to grow our skillset.

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The Feynman Technique

Richard Feynman understood the difference between:

  • knowing something and
  • knowing the name of something

He created a formula for learning that ensured h...

4 Steps to the Feynman Technique.
  1. Teach it to a child. Write down what you know about the subject in plain language. This forces you to understand the concept at a deeper level and simplify relationships and connections between ideas.
  2. Review the gaps in your knowledge that you uncovered in step 1. Identifying the boundaries of your understanding limits possible mistakes and increase chances of success.
  3. Organize and Simplify your new set of hand-crafted notes. A good indication that your understanding in that area still needs some work is If the explanation isn’t simple or sounds confusing.
  4. (optional): Transmit.The ultimate test of your knowledge is your capacity to convey it to another.
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.

Understanding what is learning and how our memory works wil...

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.

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