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How to learn any skills faster in six steps

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Practice makes perfect when it comes to skills.

G. I. Joe Fallacy: the idea that knowing is half the battle. It needs to be retired not just from our theories of how the mind works, but also from our practices of trying to shape minds to work better.

Laurie Santos and Tamar Gendler

As a consequence, if you want to achieve an objective, lectures alone will not suffice. You want to be more prepared. Lectures can only help you learn more. It will not provide you with the tools you need to improve your job performance.

Set (realistic) goals!

Your objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound).

You can also use the WOOP technique (wish, result, challenge, plan) to set goals and achieve them more quickly.

In his book Originals, Wharton Organizational Psychology Professor Adam Grant suggests that the greatest input comes from fellow creators, not from the audience or managers.

We could all rely more on peer feedback and do a better job saying, “When I’ve got a new idea, I’m not necessarily going to trust my own judgment. But I’m not always going to trust … middle managers who tend to be the most risk-averse and most conservative. I’m going to go to people who are fellow creators.”

Adam Grant

Deliberate practice to learn any skill faster!

Regular practice may be mindless repetitions, whereas deliberate practice requires focused attention and is done with the explicit goal of increasing performance.

Benjamin Franklin’s father chastised him for his poor writing skills when he was a teenager. Franklin made a pledge to himself to improve his prose. He began by reading works by some of the most popular authors of the time. He then rewrote each essay in his own words before comparing it to the original.

World-class violinists only train for 90 minutes a day, but those 90 minutes are spent focusing on areas where they are weak or need to develop. They don’t practice what is easy for them. It’s pointless to do so. Deliberate practice, on the other hand, forces one to step outside of their comfort zone. You’re still focusing on what you need to work on, and once you’ve accomplished it, you move on to more challenging skills. It’s like turning your life into a game.

Choose the mindset required!

Carol Dweck coined the terms “fixed mentality” and “development mindset” to describe people’s beliefs about learning and intellect. Students who believe they can boost their intellect understand that perseverance pays off. As a result, they put forward more effort and commitment, resulting in increased results.

We can change someone’s perspective from fixed to development, according to studies. They become more inspired and do more as we do so. The study of brain plasticity has shown how neuronal communication changes over time. With practice, neural networks form new associations and strengthen old ones.

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