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The Checklist to Becoming a Faster Learner

The Checklist to Becoming a Faster Learner
Image credit: Rennett | Stowe
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When you start your own business you need to make quick decisions and act on your feet to keep your assets intact. Learning new skills can also be very valuable, but I get it, there’s never a moment to spare. Wouldn't it be nice to have an edge and actually consume information and learn new skills faster?

Here’s the good news: this checklist will help you become a faster learner in any area:

1. Find someone with an edge.

I listen to Tim Ferriss’s podcast a lot. He’s the author of The 4-Hour Workweek and he mentions his new television show The Tim Ferriss Experiment where he has to quickly learn a new language, how to drive a racecar and become a great poker player.  

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For him the challenge is learning enough of the new skills to be competent and not make a fool of himself on TV.  So how does he do it?  He says the quickest way to learn something is to find someone who shouldn’t excel at a skill but does anyway. For example, a short basketball player: What’s his trick?  Understanding that you might have to go the least likely route to learn on the fly will help you overcome more obstacles in your business. Look for the solutions that are a little counterintuitive.   

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

When we’re trying to get a grip on something new, it’s easy to get bogged down by the details. Instead, try to focus on the big picture. If you’re trying to learn a new language you should start with the most frequently used phrases. Once you grasp the key concepts, the rest should flow more easily.  

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3. Chop up your big project.

Make bite-sized and attainable goals for yourself.  That way you’ll be more likely to attain them and set yourself up for success.  Having defined deadlines with very actionable tasks will get you to the finish line faster. For instance, if you need to learn new software, break down all the ways it will help you during you day and learn to use it in pieces.  

4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

When you’re first starting out you should expect to do a bit of trial and error. Pushing yourself to get everything right just adds unnecessary stress and pressure. Go easy on yourself.

5. Ask for help.

Pride has a tendency to get in our way. When we’re complete novices at something we often don’t mind looking for advice. However, as soon as we start to find our feet, we suddenly stop asking for help. Why is that? Most people are happy to share some of their wisdom, so why stop asking for it now?  I always like to reach out to the best of the best for any topic and often I'll find that person is more than happy to give me a helping hand.
 

6. Reward yourself.

Learning something new can be quite a big ask. It something that takes time and dedication. You might find yourself going weeks without any progress. So how do you keep up your moral? Make sure to reward yourself for each step you take. It doesn’t have to be something huge, just enough to keep you going.  Manicures and rounds of golf work well for personal bribery.  

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