How to make learning new things a habit


July, 2016

The moment we stop learning is the moment we stop growing. However, how we learn matters as much as what we learn. In this fast paced world, we have limited time for learning new things and everything is complicated due to the endless stream of notifications, emails and other distractions. People complain that they don’t have time to learn anything new. If so, why not break down whatever we want to learn into smaller chunks and consume them during short periods of free time/ idle time throughout our day?

Before you go about doing anything, you need to figure out what you’re going to learn. Maybe you want to learn a new language. Or maybe you want to learn something business-related. Whatever it is, you need to first know what you want to learn and how complex it is going to get. Then, you need to look at your daily routine and identify where you can fit in short learning sessions. For instance, you can listen to The Economist’s Podcast on your way to work. This is time which you would have spent otherwise just staring out the window during your morning commute. The next step is to figure out what you’re going to do and when. This is basically matching up each learning activity in to a particular portion of your daily schedule. Once done, you can now subscribe to all your sources of information. Install an app on your smart device; borrow a book from the library etc.

As you start going about learning new things, get into the habit of trying to “understand the big picture”. Learn speed reading if you want to, and make good use of headlines and diagrams. Try and observe any trends and always try to extrapolate your learnings and use them where applicable.

Finally, make it a habit!

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