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Common patterns to the problem of motivation

Common patterns to the problem of motivation

There are three common patterns to the problem of motivation:

  • Drive: You don't have a strong enough desire to learn.
  • Anxiety: You have a strong aversion to learning.
  • Distraction: You have something else that draws your attention.

The difficulties we have in learning are not just related to strategy. Sometimes you know what to do, but don't do it.

@conh359

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Without a drive to learn, it's hard to get going. Weak drives include expectations from family, teachers, or employers. It's the things you have to do, but don't want to do.

You can change this, but you need an inspiring goal to get you started. If your project doesn't excite you, no advice will help.

Sometimes you are excited to learn, but you still avoid getting started. You may worry about the fear of failure, feedback, or performing. If you expose yourself to the thing you find unpleasant and nothing bad happens, your fear will lessen.

Reframing is often helpful in overcoming this problem. Begin each studying session with the idea that you will find it hard.

Distraction is not always bad. The problem is when distraction becomes compulsive. Create rules that will prevent toxic distraction.

  • Set time limits and caps on all digital distractions.
  • Work on one project at a time, see it through until the end.
  • Never quit on the uphill. Don't stop when you've just got a question wrong.

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What and How to Study

Testing yourself, so you have to retrieve the information from memory, works much better than repeatedly reviewing the information, or creating a concept map (mind map).

After the first time learning the material, spend the subsequent studying to recalling the information, solving a problem or explaining the idea without glancing at the source.

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IDEAS

Practice loops are useful as a concept to think about learning any skill. A practice loop is an activity or group of activities you repeat over and over again while learning something.

  • In physics: a practice loop is every problem you solve.
  • In business: it is each product or feature you launch.
  • In languages: conversations, flaschards, grammar exercises are all loops.
Scientific Backed Ways To Learn Better
  1. Learn faster and retain more by imagining that you have to teach someone else what you are learning
  2. Sleeping between two learning sessions greatly improves retention.
  3. Changing the way you practice a new motor skill can help you master it faster.
  4. Dedicating 30-50 minutes sections to learning new material separated by 10 minute breaks is an efficient way of learning.
  5. Make note cards by hand for the more difficult concepts you are trying to master so you can use them in idle moments.
  6. Taking notes with pen and paper instead of digitally will help you learn and comprehend better as it takes more focus, making you listen more actively and better identify concepts.
  7. Practice distributed learning, or “spacing.” It consists of reviewing the information one to two days after first studying it.
  8. Downtime is important when it comes to retaining what you learn, and getting sleep in between study sessions can boost your recall up to six months later.