We all have goals and aspirations in life. However, most of our larger more ambitious goals require us to learn some new skills, and master them to get decent results.
Now, in this day and age it’s easier than ever to source out information. Just a quick Google search will usually provide us with more than enough to begin learning whatever it is we need to get started.
Whether we pay for our information in the form of a book, eBook, course, internet course, seminar, webinar, coaching or anything else, learning is learning, and there are more effective ways to gain knowledge than simply cramming information hoping it sticks.
A lot of people use the “information overload” learning model, which as the name suggests isn’t very effective. It’s where you’d join a course (usually an internet based one) and watch ALL the videos and content within that course at once, leaving your brain with a huge mass of information to deal with.
This can be done via book too. If you read half a book at once the likelihood is that you’ll forget MOST of what you read. Retention is key for learning, and these kinds of methods do NOT provide satisfactory results.
I want to introduce you to a method which feels more natural. It allows information to soak in so that we can not only “recall” it when we want it, but we can understand it inside out, which is vital for actually learning something and gaining knowledge.
Using this technique you will be able to go from newbie to expert in a timely manner.
As the title of this post suggests, I’m talking about “paced learning”. A good analogy of how this method works is to think about two runners. A lengthy circuit is laid out, and the two runners are told to run from the start to the finish. They can use any running style they like.
One runner decides they’re going to “sprint” the entire way. The other decides to jog. The sprinter soon gets tired about a quarter of the way through, and finds that they can’t go on any longer. The jogger on the other hand passes by the sprinter, and makes it to the finish line first without any stress or frustration.
The jogger is paced learning (I’m sure you all got that!)…
Paced learning means that you don’t burn out too fast, and you take on something manageable and enjoyable too. In the “learning arena” paced learning means that you break up content into smaller chunks, and allow your mind to fully digest and understand that information BEFORE you move on to the next chunk.
This ensures that you understand whatever it is that you’re learning, so that you can master it, and actually become an expert over time. The “burnout” method can only ever produce low quality information retention, resulting in little growth in your chosen area.
Luckily, most books and courses are broken up into conveniently sized chunks already. They’re called “chapters” or “modules”, and you should only ever take on ONE at a time. Only move on when you can recall all the information and understand it.
A great way to know if you’ve understood some content is to try to explain the concept to another person. If you find yourself tripping up or losing your way, then you need to go back and revise that segment. If you can explain it fluently and help the other person understand it, then you can move on.
It may take you a little longer to get through books or courses, but the difference in your understanding, knowledge and skills will be priceless! You will never get the same level of expertise from rushing through content or consuming too much at once.
One last neat trick I sometimes use to make sure I’ve learned something is to write out a short description of the subject. I may draw some diagrams if needed, but usually a few paragraphs is enough to explain a concept.
If we first hear or read information, then write it down again and read it back to ourselves, we’re ingesting that same information in numerous different ways more than once, making it FAR more likely to stick.
Wrapping things up…
Overall, paced learning allows us to learn information properly so that we can recall it, teach it, and fully understand it too. In order to become an expert in any topic you must know it inside out, and I believe that paced learning is one of the best methods for producing AMAZING results!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, remember to “like”, “share”, and “comment” below!