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A Johns Hopkins Study Reveals the Scientific Secret to Double How Fast You Learn

Learning Something New

When we are learning a new skill, practicing is key, but what's more important is the way we practice and the variation we bring in the practice.

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A Johns Hopkins Study Reveals the Scientific Secret to Double How Fast You Learn

A Johns Hopkins Study Reveals the Scientific Secret to Double How Fast You Learn

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/a-johns-hopkins-study-reveals-scientific-secret-to-double-how-fast-you-learn.html

inc.com

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Key Ideas

Learning Something New

When we are learning a new skill, practicing is key, but what's more important is the way we practice and the variation we bring in the practice.

Practicing with Variation

Making the conditions slightly different while practicing improves our skills faster.

The modification between two practice moves needs to be subtle, not drastic.

How to Learn a New Skill

Try practicing differently, making small but smart changes, spacing the practice sessions.

A waiting period internalizes your practice. It makes you evaluate the results, focusing on what works and discarding what does not work. Constant modification and refinement, along with a 'cooling-off' period sets the skill properly.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Say it out loud

Learning and memory benefit from active involvement. When you add speaking to it, the content becomes more defined in long-term memory and more memorable.

Take notes by hand

Most of us can type very fast, but research shows writing your notes by hand will allow you to learn more.

Taking notes by hand enhances both comprehension and retention.

Chunk your study sessions

Studying over a period of time is more effective than waiting until the last minute.

Distributed practice works because each time you try to remember something, the memory becomes harder to forget.

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Learning

Traditionally, we’re taught to learn using the “blocking” strategy. This instructs us to go over a single idea again and again (and again) until we’ve mastered it, before proceeding to the next con...

Interleaving

... space out learning over a longer period of time, and it randomizes the information we encounter when learning a new skill. 

Interleaving causes your brain to intensely focus and solve problems every step of the way, resulting in information getting stored in your long-term memory instead.

For example, instead of learning one banjo chord at a time until you perfect it, you train in several at once and in shorter bursts.

Using interleaving to pick up a new skill
  • Practice multiple parallel skills at once
  • Try planning when and what you want to cover in a lesson in advance.

  • Go back over the basics to practice older material.

  • Keep track of your progress to stay motivated.

  • Trying skills from new angles and failing a lot helps you break out of your comfort zone.

Learning to Learn

Learning new skills increases your motivation, makes you more adaptable, relatable, interesting and helps you get better jobs and earn more money.

And today, learning anything new...

Writing

Like any skill, you learn by doing. And make a commitment to write publicly.

You learn better when people can actually see your work. It forces you to do your very best. It gives you accountability. You get feedback from others and improved based on it.

Public Speaking

Nothing builds confidence more than doing a successful public speech. So seek opportunities to speak in front of groups.

  • Start with people you’re comfortable with (friends and family). 
  • Talk about subjects you’re passionate about. 
  • Be aware of people's reactions and interest levels and adapt accordingly. You'll get better in time.

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