Learning has got to be the most strenuous activity ever, or maybe it isn’t. You probably struggled to learn in school and swore that when you leave school, you will never read a book again in your life.
I totally understand how you feel. However, as a lover of self-development, I have come to understand that reading never ends in school. In fact, it gets more rigorous after school. This time, you are not reading to pass an exam; you are reading to really understand and apply it in your daily work, and you need to be good at it, or you will be replaced.
Every day of my life, I try to be better than who I used to be, and because I am in a competitive industry, I take learning very seriously. This is why I decided to pay attention to how I learn, which is crucial if I want to grow in my career.
While paying attention, I noticed some things about learning and the human mind, and I wanted to share them with you.
How to Learn Anything: The Process of Learning and How Long It Takes To Learn Anything
While learning new things through the years, here are some significant processes I learned about learning. When learning something new, here are some mindsets that will help you learn anything faster and seamlessly.
Just so you know, I don’t believe in learning anything faster or quickly; I believe it’s okay to take your time when learning. However, I understand that sometimes you need to learn things quickly.
Here are some of the reasons you need to know how to learn anything:
- You want to learn a new language
- You are learning about a new niche in your work industry
- You are venturing into a new career
- You are starting a business
- You want to be better, etc.
If you agree with any of the above or have your reasons, then the following processes are vital for you to understand. These are day-to-day activities tied to the system of learning, and if you can understand how they work, you will know how to learn anything and how not to beat yourself up when learning something new.
Learning and its importance
I have come to understand that the human mind prioritizes what it deems important. If something is important to you, you will make time for it. You will value it. You will prioritize it. This also goes for learning new things.
If you focus on anything by learning and implementing it for 6 months, you will excel at it.The Avid Inspire
Before learning something new, first understand how important it is for you to know that thing. For example, if you are learning a new language, ask yourself why. Why are you learning this language?
- Is it for fun? (this reason is bound not to last, and you might eventually not learn for a long time.)
- Is it to get a new job? (this reason might work if you are disciplined, but if you don’t eventually get the job, you might never return to learning.
- Is it to travel abroad? (this could work if you are relocating to a country that speaks that language, but if it’s a short vacation, you might not keep up.)
You must have a tangible and sustainable reason for wanting to learn something. If you do, you have more chances of knowing how to learn anything.
Don’t see time as a never-ending curse. Instead, see it as an opportunity to learn deeply.The Avid Inspire
Learning and Time
There are many articles online on how to learn anything faster, but I don’t find them exciting or insightful because I don’t think learning should be done faster. I think learning should be a process. A way of life sort of thing. Something we are continually doing.
Learning should take time. Not because you are a slow learner but because you must give it your time to know it thoroughly.
Usually, it takes 10,000 hours to master or learn a thing, and Josh Kaufman refuted this statement by writing about the 20-hour rule. Both might be correct in their term, but I believe in the 6-months rule because it worked for me.
If you focus on anything by learning and implementing it for 6 months, you will excel at it. Ten thousand hours is about 13 months, and you probably don’t need that long to learn something new.
If you want to be great at anything, dedicate your time to it. Don’t see time as a never-ending curse. Instead, see it as an opportunity to learn deeply.
Learning and Practice
To know how to learn anything, you need practice. You know the saying, practice makes perfect? They didn’t lie. Constant practice takes what you are learning from your brain to your body. Now, you not only know it as information, you also act it, you do it, and this helps you become great at it. It becomes a habit that sticks.
You remember it so well that you don’t even need a book to remind you. When I first started blogging, I learned WordPress independently, and I never knew it was a sellable skill. I just loved the platform and enjoyed publishing my blog posts on it.
That was 8 years ago. Now, WordPress is like my Whatsapp or Instagram. I navigate the platform like a bosom friend because I have been using it for so long. When asked to use the platform for a client, I don’t worry about what to do. I know it too well because of years of practice.
What skill comes to your mind when you read this? That must be something you have learned and done over the years. Your learning trophy! Share in the comments!
Learning and consistency
When you first start learning something new, there is every tendency that you may start to get tired and consider quitting. However, you must understand mastering anything takes consistency. Whether you feel like it or not, you must learn. You must show up.
Also read: Why You’re Struggling with Consistency
Learning and Tests
Tests and quizzes are my favorite. I enjoy testing how much I have learned, but you are probably not like me. Even if you are not a fan of tests, I suggest you start taking them. For weeks or months after learning something new, take a quiz online or tell a friend to ask you questions relating to it. Even if you don’t pass the tests, you will know what you need to learn and what you already know.
Learning and Teaching Others
Another learning cheat code is teaching others. To master what you have learned, you must learn the art of teaching others. I have had so many moments where, as I taught people, I could feel what I had learned crystalize in my memory, and I just couldn’t forget that particular thing. While in school, I also understood more when explaining to people.
You can also teach yourself if you don’t have anyone to teach. Stand in the mirror and teach yourself; you will realize how much you know and don’t know.
Learning and understanding
While in school, we had many people who only learned when exam time was coming, me included. We did a lot of cramming so we wouldn’t fail, and after the exam, we had no idea what the teacher taught or the topic. LOL.
This is a lousy way to learn. If you want to learn deeply, you must strive to understand what you are learning. Don’t keep it in your head; genuinely understand.
If you are learning a new language, don’t just learn the A-Z’s of the language; read some history about how the language was formulated, ask questions, and learn why the z curves the way it does. Who founded the letters and why? What were they thinking? Now, you might not get an answer to all your questions; however, through these stories and questions, what you are trying to learn will crystalize in your heart.
Learning and writing down
This is another way to crystalize what you have learned or are learning—by writing it down, not with your computer or gadget now but with the old-fashioned pen and book. I have noticed it works like a charm.
Whenever I write things down, I sometimes never go back to read what I have written, but I have found that I never forget what I write down.
Related post: 5 Powerful Benefits of Writing Things Down
Learning from others
If you think you can know anything by yourself, you are probably not ready to learn. How to learn anything is by learning from others. Ask questions, seek mentoring, and take classes from people who have gone ahead of you.
If you plan to learn writing and become exceptional at it—and earn from it, I started a writing class, and you can be a part of it. This one-on-one writing class will take you from a meh writer to a premium writer. Read more details in the flyer. No matter the country or city you are in, you too can become a writer; don’t miss this opportunity.
Open yourself up to learning from others; this will take you far. These people you want to learn from do not only know it by mind; they have applied it so many times in their lives, and they can also guide you from making the mistakes they made as a newbie.
Learning and real-life application
The last process of how to learn anything is real-life application. If you want to crystalize any information, put it into action. Apply it to your daily life. Relate it to something you can relate to. Relate it to something you love doing, and you will see how easy it is for you to learn and master it.
The Don’ts of Learning
- Don’t give yourself to distractions: When learning, shut away every distraction. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, use time-blocking to wad away distractions and stay focused in short time bursts, stay in a room void of noise and distractions, and stay focused.
- Don’t overlook a mistake: Correct yourself when you make a mistake—immediately. While I was learning to read at a very young age, my dad taught me something significant that I would never forget.
He would tell me to read aloud to him, and each time I couldn’t pronounce a word, he would tell me to spell it out, then tell me the word and its meaning, and then tell me to say it after him. I would.
In the course of reading, if I reencountered the word and mispronounced it, he would correct me again. Now, I would sometimes nod and keep reading instead of correcting myself immediately after he corrects me, but he would tell me to go back to the word and pronounce it after him before continuing.
I later realized after a while of doing that consistently that there was every tendency that I would never mispronounce that word again because I corrected myself instantly.
If you ever have to learn anything, remember that taking to correction is another way of learning. When learning, be open to the fact that you will make mistakes and never overlook them. Correct them immediately so you don’t have to do it later.
- Don’t restrict yourself to one way of learning: Use videos, pictures, documents, physical and online books, articles, images, graphs, drawings, etc. This helps your brain to store the information in different ways. It also helps you understand better.