Learning Strategies for Mastering New Skills
Technology is advancing at unprecedented levels, and it’s only going to get faster. According to Moore’s Law all technological changes occur faster and faster doubling approximately every 18 months. Because of this fact, if you want to keep up in the world, continuously seek to master new skills.
If you want to master a new skill, it’s imperative first to ask and answer a few questions:
Are You Really Ready?
Do you have the right background to learn a new skill? For example, if you want to author a novel, what do need to add to your skillset? There are many processes to learn about that involves more than just writing do you need to back up and learn plotting, character development, or something else?
Do You Really Need It?
If you are entertaining learning a new skill, why do you want to learn it? What will you do when you do learn it? You don’t need to know everything. For example, if you are going to get your gallbladder out, you don’t have to learn surgery, the doctor knows what they are doing. There are experts for a reason. Let them do what they do.
How Do You Learn Best?
This is something you may know instinctively, or you may need to explore. Some people learn best from a hands-on method, others learn best by reading, and yet others require even more. Knowing how you learn best will help you find the right course, book, or plan for your needs.
Now that you know the answers to those questions when you do want to learn something new, remember to follow these tips.
- Set Clear Goals – When you want to learn a new skill, you need to set goals that define what you’re going to learn, the timeline behind it, and specific information that helps you succeed.
- Start Small – Be sure to break up the things you need to learn about the new skill into smaller parts. This is going to make it less overwhelming for you.
- Be Patient – Sometimes, the rush to learn can affect your mind and block your ability to absorb latest information. Instead, be kind to yourself and patient as you learn the new skill.
- Teach What You Learn – For most people, regardless of learning style, turning around and teaching someone else about what you’re learning is helpful. Even if you cannot teach someone, you can send a note to yourself via email telling yourself what you learned.
Developing the capacity to master new skills faster will help you stay ahead of the curve. However, keep in mind that you don’t need to know everything. You only need to know what you need to know to make the right decisions for your life and your work.