• Franz Saint-Fleur

7 Easy Steps To Learn Anything Fast!

Photo used for educational purposes only. (Fair use)

Eddie Cantor once said that it takes 20 years to become an overnight sensation. This implies that the people who become the best in their field usually put in years of hard work with little recognition. Many people assumed that it takes an equally long time to learn a skill. This is simply not true. While perfection and mastery takes a long time, simply learning a skill takes a much shorter time, if you know the strategies and techniques to apply. When trying to learn a new skill, most people follow long and often ineffective strategies that leads to frustration and disappointment. However, if you know the strategies to apply, you can learn any skill, from languages to music, easier and faster. In fact, you can learn a new skill in as little as 20 hours. The following are some of the strategies you can apply to make learning quicker and easier. 1. Have a clear vision of what exactly you want to achieve During the first few hours of learning a new skill, the objective is not mastery. What is important is learning the basic techniques and strategies of the skill. This is why it is important to have a very clear understanding of what exactly you want to learn. Knowing what you wish to achieve makes it easier to find strategies that help you get results quickly. 2. Deconstruct the skill and focus on one sub-skill at a time Most skills are made up of many different sub-skills that you need to learn. Instead of focusing on the skill itself, deconstruct it into its most basic sub-skills. For example, when learning a new language, you may need to study basic vocabulary, basic phrases, grammar, verbs, and adjectives. Break the skill you want to learn apart and only focus on one thing at a time. Measure your success in the smaller units, and try to master them in order to know where your weak points are. It is also important to determine what the most important sub-skills are, and to focus more of your effort on them. 3. Do your research Before you start learning anything, take some time to do your research on the various sub-skills. Use three to five sources that have the best information on a particular topic. However, you should make sure that the research process does not become an excuse to procrastinate. The purpose of researching is to find techniques that can help you learn better. When going through the three to five sources, look for information that is common in all of them and use it. You can also pick a bunch of different learning methods and techniques to begin with, and then stick with the one that gives you the most results. 4. Practice for short periods of time every day When trying to learn a skill, you will understand faster and easier if you spend short periods of time learning every day, instead of focusing on one long cramming session. This is because learning requires repetition. Learning a small sub skill every day and revisiting it the next day makes it easier to retain the information for longer. Cramming on the other hand makes it easier to remember information on that day or the next day, but you'll probably forget what you learned within a week. Therefore, if you want to spend 20 hours learning a new skill, you are better off breaking it into 30 to 45 minutes sessions every day over a period of one month. Understandably, this will require a lot of willpower. Repetition is very important when learning a skill because it allows your brain to go through the three phase of learning. The first phase is known as the cognitive phase, which requires a lot of thinking and focus. The second phase is the interrelating phase. In this phase, your brain begins to understand the techniques you need to learn the particular skill, which makes the learning process easier and more natural. The third phase is the automatic phase. In this phase, you understand the particular skill and you can perform it without much thinking or effort. 5. Remove all barriers to practice

Lack of willpower and motivation is one of the biggest barriers to consistent practice. This is why you have to make your environment conducive to practice, in order to reduce the energy and time it takes to get started. If you need to learn a new language, make all the tools you need available within easy reach. If you are learning it through an app, set a reminder on your phone to make it easier to remember to start your lessons. Install the app's shortcut on your phone's home page so that you don't have to browse through all the available apps to find it. If your greatest barriers are distractions, ensure that the time you have set to practice is as free from outside interference as possible. Turn off your television and lock yourself in your room if you have to. Ensure that your undivided attention is on the skill you want to learn. 6. Pre-commit to deliberate practice Before you start learning, pre-commit to going through the entire 20 hours to learn the new skill. This helps you determine how important learning the skill is to you. The earliest hours of practice are usually the most frustrating. Pre-committing helps you guarantee to yourself that you will get past the first few frustrating hours. The reason it is important to choose a few hours, such as 20 hours, is because this time is long enough to get significant results, but short enough to make commitment easier. 7. Debriefing Debriefing involves learning from your mistakes so that you don't repeat them again. This may require help from a mentor who is already familiar with the particular skill. If you don't debrief, you may make the same mistakes several times, which prolongs the learning process. When you start experiencing difficulties learning a certain sub-skill, ask for help understanding what you are doing wrong. Correct your mistakes before moving on to the next sub-skill. This helps you build up on the skill in an incremental way so that you feel like you are making some progress. Conclusion While 20 hours is not enough to become ultra-competitive in any skill, it is enough to learn the skill. If you wish to learn more, you can commit to 20 more hours to improve on the knowledge you have. Therefore, the first 20 hours sets the stage for the next 20 hours. This way, you can learn more easily and quickly.