Table of Contents
- 1. Add variety to your practice sessions
- 2. Constantly test yourself
- 3. Teach someone else
- 4. Learn how fast learners think
- 5. Work smart – not hard
- 6. Research effective learning strategies for complex topics
- 7. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
- 8. Stop relying on self-discipline alone
- 9. The key to learning quickly is to master the learning process
- 10. Stop relying on motivation
- 11. The power of deliberate practice
- 12. Distributed practice
- 13. Take advantage of your brain’s ability known as focused mode
- 14. The Plus, Minus, Equal Method
- 15. Utilize feedback loops when learning a new skill
- 16. Learn How to Get the Best Learning Materials
- 17. Use a mind map to build a coherent structure of information
- 18. Feynman Technique
- 19. Start taking notes and write them in your own words
- 20. Consolidate information (Summary sheets)
- 21. Chunking
- 22. Get more sleep
- 23. The Pareto Principle
- 24. Find a mentor
- 25. Take notes by hand and not on a computer
- 26. Learn several subjects in succession
- 27. Visualize the outcome of your efforts
- 28. Take advantage of libraries
- 29. Chunk your study sessions
- 30. Exercise regularly
- 31. Be a Chameleon
- 32. Ask lots of questions
- 33. Deconstruct and reverse engineer
- 34. Ignore distractions
- 35. Be patient with yourself
- 36. Learn by doing
- 37. Use the 20-Hour Rule
- 38. Record yourself learning something new
- 39. Join a group related to the skill you want to learn
- 40. Don’t give up!
Learning a new skill can be difficult. You might not know where to start or you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that is out there.
Learning a new skill quickly is possible, but it requires some discipline and a little bit of creativity.
With these 40 tips, you’ll find yourself learning new skills in no time!
1. Add variety to your practice sessions
When you practice something, it’s important to change the way that you do it.
If you always practice the same way, you’ll get stuck in your ways and it will be difficult to learn anything new.
So, keep your practice sessions fresh and interesting by switching things up every once in a while.
This approach is especially important when it comes to learning new a skill quickly.
If you practice the same skill in the exact same way, and your practice sessions consist of you doing the exact same thing each time, you will be unable to improve your technique.
By adding variety into your practice sessions, you’ll learn the skill faster and better.
2. Constantly test yourself
Since you can’t learn by simply reading, it’s important to constantly test yourself. If the only way for you to understand how something works is to actually do it, then put yourself in a position where you will need to know how that something works.
Here are some examples of this mindset:
- Don’t just read a book, create a blog or YouTube video about what you’ve read.
- Don’t just watch how-to videos on YouTube, recreate the process yourself.
- Don’t just copy the code on codepen, create your own version of it with slight changes to see how it works.
- Don’t just watch how your favorite developer does something on their app, try to recreate it yourself. If you get stuck, ask them for help.
- Don’t just watch a tutorial and do what it says, create your own variation of the design in order to see how it works.
Self-testing is the best way to learn, and it’s also a great way to see how much you’ve learned. So, start testing yourself more often.
3. Teach someone else
When you’re trying to pick up a new skill fast, it can be tempting to try and go at it alone. After all, the more time you spend practicing and learning, the better, right?
Actually, teaching someone else can be one of the best ways to learn a new skill fast yourself.
When you’re trying to teach someone else, you’ll find yourself thinking through your actions and instructions more carefully.
You might also need to explain what you’re doing, which means that it’s easier to see the steps that you need in order to do it yourself.
4. Learn how fast learners think
People who are able to learn a new skill fast are able to identify new information quickly, which means that they can utilize new techniques and strategies.
Their mindset is also different; they’re not afraid of making mistakes and they know that practice makes perfect.
If you want to learn new skills quickly, it’s important to understand how fast learners are able to learn new information.
Figure out what makes their brain work so quickly and see if you can incorporate those strategies into your new skill learning process.
5. Work smart – not hard
Skip the mundane tasks and find new ways to achieve your goals. Don’t spend hours doing research on a subject when you can learn what you need in half the time.
Find shortcuts and new ways to learn that fit your learning style. You want to make the learning process as efficient as possible.
When you’re learning new skills, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from others – but also be sure to use your own judgment. Only you know what works best for you.
Take some time to reflect on how you learn new skills and new information. How can you learn new skills faster?
What works best for you and what doesn’t work at all? The more time that’s wasted, the further behind you fall.
6. Research effective learning strategies for complex topics
There are many different methods for learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge, such as back-chaining, chaining/chunking, the keyword method, and using mnemonic devices.
It’s important to do your research and find the learning strategy that will work best for you. Some strategies work better for visual learners, while others work best for auditory learners.
It’s also important to find a strategy that is efficient and not too time-consuming. The keyword method, for example, is a very efficient strategy that can be used to learn new vocabulary words or mathematical formulas.
When it comes to learning new skills, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to find a strategy that works best for your unique learning needs.
7. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
In order to learn a new skill fast, it’s important to have the right mindset.
A growth mindset is all about being open to new learning and seeing new skills as opportunities for growth.
A fixed mindset, on the other hand, sees new skills as a threat because new skills might mean the person is incompetent.
This is an important distinction to make because it can mean the difference between giving up easily and persevering through new challenges.
Developing a growth mindset will help you gain confidence and make it easier to learn new skills.
So if you’re wanting to learn a new skill fast, make sure that you have the right mindset in place!
8. Stop relying on self-discipline alone
It’s easy to think that the only way to learn new skills quickly is through sheer willpower and self-discipline.
However, this is not always the case. In fact, relying solely on self-discipline can be a recipe for disaster.
It’s important to have a variety of tools in your learning toolkit, including different strategies for acquiring new knowledge and new skills.
If you’re only relying on self-discipline, you’re missing out on an entire world of new possibilities. It’s time to try something new and incorporate new techniques into your learning process.
9. The key to learning quickly is to master the learning process
When you are new to a skill, it can take hours or days of research and practice before the new information becomes second nature.
If you want to learn a new skill fast, you need to master the learning process. There are many techniques and strategies that can help you learn more effectively and efficiently.
By learning how to learn, you can shave hours or days off the time it takes to become proficient in a new skill.
10. Stop relying on motivation
Motivation can be hard to maintain, so it’s important to immerse yourself in the learning process and build momentum.
For example, let’s say you’re motivated to learn a new language but you’re struggling to make progress.
In this case, it might be helpful to find a language partner or join a conversation class. This will help you stay on track and keep up with your new language learning goals.
If you’re struggling to find the motivation to learn a new skill, don’t worry – you’re not alone!
If motivation is your only source of new skill acquisition, then it’s going to be difficult to learn a new skill fast.
You need strategies that can give you a boost of energy and help you stay on track with new learning goals.
11. The power of deliberate practice
Deliberate practice involves focusing on specific aspects of the skill that you want to learn and repeating them over an extended period of time.
This type of practice allows you to improve your performance while avoiding plateaus.
By focusing on the new skill for a long period of time, you can get an accurate measurement of how much improvement has occurred.
That’s what makes deliberate practice such an effective learning tool. It allows you to master a new skill quickly.
Incorporating this into your learning session will pay dividends in the long run.
12. Distributed practice
Distributed practice is the idea of spacing out learning new information over time.
It’s one thing to learn something new all at once, but research shows that learning new information over time leads to a better understanding and longer-term memory of the material.
To use distributed practice, if you are trying to learn new information or a new skill, space out your sessions and practice over a longer period of time.
It helps improve your long-term retention. In other words, you will find that you retain the new information better and can actually learn it faster.
13. Take advantage of your brain’s ability known as focused mode
If you want to learn faster, and speed up your learning time, you need to take advantage of your brain’s ability known as focused mode.
This is a state where you can really focus and concentrate on the task at hand.
When you’re in this mode, your brain is able to process information more effectively and learn new material more quickly.
To utilize this, try one or more of the following:
- Listen to calming music.
- Get a cup of coffee.
- Take a walk.
- Take a shower or bath.
- Turn off all distractions and notifications on your computer, phone, etc.
- Take a break and play your favorite game.
This is honestly a super important concept to incorporate into your practice session and learning sessions, as this will help you learn and retain information to a larger extent.
14. The Plus, Minus, Equal Method
When you are trying to learn a new skill, it is important that you find the right learning method for you.
Some people prefer visual aids, while others prefer to read about the subject. Some like both or they may benefit more from audio learning methods.
The style that you use should be based on your learning style, not someone else’s.
The plus, minus, and equal (PME) method is a great way to learn faster. This method is based on the idea that you can break down a skill into its component parts and then practice each part until you have it down.
For example, if you want to learn how to play the guitar, you can break down the skill into its component parts: holding the guitar, plucking each string, learning the fretboard.
Then you can practice these parts until they become second nature to you.
You may find that you need to go through the process for each component, or that you only need one session.
This is normal when learning a new skill – some skills will take longer to learn than others.
The PME method is a great way to learn faster, but it should not be your only method. You should also practice and learn the skill as a whole, not just in its component parts.
15. Utilize feedback loops when learning a new skill
Feedback loops can help you learn faster by providing you with information on how well you are performing. When receiving feedback, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- What did you do well?
- What could you improve on?
- How can you practice to improve?
For example, if you are learning how to play the guitar and want to improve your strumming speed.
Begin by playing a song that is at a speed you are comfortable with. Once you have mastered the song, try playing it faster.
If you make any mistakes, slow down your strumming speed. Remember to ask yourself the three questions above when you are receiving feedback.
This is a great technique to utilize not only when learning a new skill, but also when trying to improve an existing skill.
16. Learn How to Get the Best Learning Materials
When you’re trying to learn a new skill, it’s important to get the best learning materials possible. This means finding resources that are tailored to your needs and interests, and that is easy for you to access.
Having the best learning material that you can find about a particular skill or subject that you can find will actually help you learn faster.
This is because the quality of the material will help keep your attention and motivate you to learn. This is especially important when you’re learning a new skill or subject for the first time.
In order to get the best learning materials, it’s important to know where to look. You can start by looking online, at your local library or bookstore.
You can also check to see if there are any local learning groups or meetups where you can find people who are learning the same things as you.
Finding resources that are of high quality and easy for you to access will help keep your attention and motivate you to learn.
17. Use a mind map to build a coherent structure of information
A mind map is a great way to pull all of the information you need together into one cohesive structure.
It can help you to see the relationships between different pieces of information, and it makes it easy to find specific bits of information when you need them.
If you’re having trouble learning a new skill, try using it to help you out. It can make the process a lot easier and less overwhelming.
Also, your ability to learn new things will improve over time if you make a habit of using this strategy. So don’t be afraid to start using them today!
18. Feynman Technique
The Feynman Technique is a simple method for mastering almost anything quickly.
To use the technique, simply focus on understanding and explaining an idea or concept to someone else – rather than trying to master it yourself.
Try explaining the concept or idea in your own words and see if you can answer any questions that would help others understand it too.
So let’s say you want to learn how to program. You could start by doing a tutorial, then trying to program something yourself. But if you’re not sure what you’re doing, it can be hard to retain the information.
Instead of just trying to memorize it, try writing it out in a way that you’ll easily understand.
It is surprising how much you learn when you have to explain something in your own words.
19. Start taking notes and write them in your own words
Note-taking is a powerful way to learn and remember new information. When you take notes in your own words, you are more likely to understand and remember the information.
This helps with improving your long-term memory because you are actively engaged in the learning process. In addition, writing notes also helps with problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
All of this helps in strengthening your motor skills and the connections in your brain. Your long-term memory is important because it helps with things like:
- Learning a new skill and facts
- Solving problems and thinking critically
- Communicating clearly to others
- Interacting with others
When you take notes and write them in a way that you can easily understand, it will help to enhance the building of these important skills.
20. Consolidate information (Summary sheets)
When you are learning new information, it can be helpful to consolidate the key points into a summary sheet. This allows you to quickly review your notes at a later date.
So, say you want to learn how to play the guitar. After your first lesson, you could create a summary sheet that includes:
- The names of each string on the guitar (E, A, D, G)
- The names of each part of the guitar (headstock, body, and neck)
- Different chords you can make
- Different strumming patterns
You could write this summary sheet in a notebook, or on a note-taking app on your phone.
Once you have created your summary sheet, try referring to it every time before your next lesson. This will allow you to consolidate the information in your mind in such a way that you will be able to remember it more easily.
Chunking involves breaking down a skill into smaller pieces and then practicing those pieces one at a time.
This is beneficial for two main reasons:
- It reduces the overall time required to learn a skill.
- It allows you to focus on one aspect at a time and make sure it is mastered before moving on to the next.
Minimal learnable units are the key to chunking. These are small, discrete pieces of information that can be learned and practiced easily.
Once you have identified the minimal learnable units, practice the first unit until you have mastered it.
Then move on to practicing the next one and so forth. You can use a variety of tools to help you with this, such as flashcards, task lists, or practice drills.
Chunking is an extremely powerful learning strategy and it is worth the extra time and effort to master.
22. Get more sleep
To help stay focused while learning a new skill, it’s important to maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
Most adults need around eight hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Not only will a good night’s rest help improve your focus and concentration, but it’ll also help you learn a new skill more quickly and retain the information in your memory.
To get more sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will help your body get into a regular sleep schedule that will make it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up refreshed.
Also avoid using electronic devices before bed, as the blue light they emit can disrupt your sleep cycle. The whole idea of winding down before bed and disconnecting from electronics can be a challenge, but it’s worth it for the benefits you’ll reap.
23. The Pareto Principle
This is a very interesting one. The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80-20 rule) states that roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.
To put it another way, 80% of the results come from 20% of the work that’s done. This is a very common rule that people use to find “bottleneck” areas where a small change can have a big impact.
So what does this have to do with learning a new skill fast?
Well, if you can find the 20% of activities that are generating the most results or impact in your skill acquisition process, you can focus your time and energy there.
And once you’ve mastered those skills, you can move on to the next 20%.
It might take some trial and error to figure out where that 20% is, but once you do it can be extremely powerful.
24. Find a mentor
A mentor can guide you and give you advice, which will help shorten the learning process. Plus, having someone to help you stay accountable can be really helpful.
A few hours of guidance from a mentor can save you weeks or months of wasted time and effort. You don’t want to waste time trying to figure everything out on your own.
Even just a few minutes of mentoring can be a huge time saver. Not everyone has the ability to pick up a new skill very quickly, but if you have someone who can help point out what’s important and how things work, you’ll be able to learn more efficiently.
25. Take notes by hand and not on a computer
One skill that is quickly becoming a lost art is handwriting. With the invention of computers, many people have stopped taking handwritten notes in class and instead use laptops or tablets.
Studies have shown that students who take notes on a computer remember less information than students who handwrite their notes.
Writing by hand is more effective for learning and retaining information because it forces you to process the information in a different way.
When you take notes on a computer, your mind is focused on typing rather than listening and processing. This can lead to you taking fewer notes and not absorbing as much information.
Handwriting also allows you to personalize your notes and make them more meaningful. Instead of simply copying down a lecture, you can write out your own thoughts and interpret the information to suit yourself better.
So if there’s one skill that you still want to learn, it should be how to take quality notes by hand.
26. Learn several subjects in succession
Whether you want to learn how to knit, perfect your conversational French or master the game of chess.
You should learn several subjects in succession. It is a simple fact that one subject will always use the same learning skills.
So if you practice those, your brain gets better and faster at learning. You can use this to your advantage by learning a few new things at once.
27. Visualize the outcome of your efforts
No matter what you’re trying to learn, visualization can help speed up the process and make it more effective.
By visualizing yourself succeeding, you can trick your brain into believing it’s already happened. This creates a frame of mind that will make achieving your goal easier.
This is a common practice among world-class athletes. In fact, visualization has been proven to have positive effects on performance.
To use visualization to learn a new skill, try the following:
- First, sit down and relax. Think of the activity you’re trying to master and imagine yourself excelling.
- Then, think about the individual steps you’ll need to take and how your body will feel when carrying them out.
- Finally, focus on the end result. See yourself completing the task perfectly and enjoying the benefits of your new skill.
28. Take advantage of libraries
Libraries have a plethora of resources at your fingertips. You can find books about any topic, which makes them great for learning new things.
You can also borrow tools, equipment, and other resources that you might not be able to afford on your own or that you don’t have room for. Plus, libraries offer classes and workshops on all sorts of topics.
You can also find meeting rooms at most libraries that are great for small groups or even one-on-one sessions.
If you’re looking to learn a new skill but don’t have the money to sign up for classes or workshops, get a library card. They’re free and you can take advantage of all the resources they have to offer.
29. Chunk your study sessions
You might think that this is the same thing as taking breaks, and in some ways it is. However, what I am suggesting is that you break your learning time down into smaller chunks.
For example, if you want to study for two hours, break it down into four thirty-minute sessions. This will help your brain stay focused and allow you to get in a better frame of mind to learn.
30. Exercise regularly
Learning a new skill is hard work. It requires you to go above and beyond your normal routine (which can be difficult if it’s already pretty demanding).
To make things a little easier on your body, try adding some exercise to the mix. Exercise not only helps clear your mind and refreshes your body, but it also releases endorphins.
Endorphins are the hormones that make us feel good. When we’re feeling good, we’re more likely to want to learn and do better.
So find an exercise routine that you can stick with and make sure to add it to your schedule. It will make learning that new skill a little bit easier – and a lot more fun.
31. Be a Chameleon
When you want to learn a new skill fast, the best approach is to imitate those who have already mastered it. By modeling someone else’s behavior, you’ll improve your own results.
Don’t just mimic the person’s actions; also pay attention to their mindset and behaviors that contribute to their success and reflect those as well.
This means that if you want to be able to play a musical instrument but don’t know where to start, make sure you observe the person who seems most talented. Pay attention not only to what they’re doing but how they’re doing it.
If you want to learn how to be more charismatic, copy the actions of someone who has mastered that skill while also paying attention to their mindset.
32. Ask lots of questions
The more questions you ask, the more information you will gather and the faster you will learn. Asking lots of questions also helps to build relationships with the people you are learning from.
That’s because asking questions helps to make people feel valued, appreciated, and important. People love sharing their knowledge with those who appreciate them!
Asking questions is one of the most important skills you can develop for learning new things fast. So start asking away! You’ll be surprised at how much you learn by doing so.
33. Deconstruct and reverse engineer
This is a really important step that a lot of people don’t do, but it’s so helpful in learning something new.
When you deconstruct and reverse engineer something, you’re breaking it down to its most basic components and then rebuilding it in a way that makes sense to you.
This helps you learn the basics of how something works and allows you to build upon that knowledge.
34. Ignore distractions
When you’re trying to focus on learning a new skill, it’s important to ignore any distractions that might pop up.
Turn off your phone, shut down your email, and close any other windows or applications that are open.
It’s fine to take a short break every now and then while you’re learning, but try to stay focused for as long as possible.
35. Be patient with yourself
Learning something new takes time and practice. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t pick everything up immediately. Some skills, like playing an instrument or speaking a new language, can take years of practice.
Everyone who wants to learn something new will experience some frustration along the way. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal! Just put in the work and you’ll get to where you want to be.
36. Learn by doing
One of the best ways to learn something new quickly is to simply do it. Don’t worry about making mistakes – that’s how you’ll learn. And don’t worry about getting everything right the first time.
Real learning comes from making mistakes and trying again. So find a way to use the new skill as soon as possible. Sure you’ll most likely be terrible at first, but that’s okay. The more you do it, the better you’ll get.
37. Use the 20-Hour Rule
The 20-hour rule is a popular suggestion amongst experts for how long it should take to learn a new skill. The rule is simple: dedicate 20 hours to learning the skill, and then give it a go.
If you’re not happy with your results, continue to dedicate another 20 hours until you are satisfied.
It’s a simple concept, but it works. In order to make the most of your 20 hours, be sure to break down the skill you want to learn into manageable chunks.
Dedicate a specific hour to learning each chunk, and then practice it until you have it down.
38. Record yourself learning something new
Start with finding a topic to record. For example, if you are trying to learn how to cook something, record yourself cooking it.
If you are learning a different language – record yourself having conversations with someone in this language.
Create YouTube videos of yourself learning something new. This will force you to learn more quickly, and it can be a fun way to share your progress with others.
Plus, you can always go back and watch your old recordings to see how much more skilled you have become.
The sooner that you record yourself learning a new skill, the sooner you will be able to improve that skill. Also, the powerful thing about YouTube videos is that you can get feedback from other people who are watching your videos.
There are numerous groups on social media and in-person that focus on nearly every skill imaginable.
This is a great way to not only learn more about the skill but also to network with others who have similar interests.
You can also find local meetups and workshops related to the skill you want to learn.
This is a great way to get started, especially if you’re new to the skill.
40. Don’t give up!
Learning a new skill can be challenging and frustrating. You may even get to the point where you want to quit, but don’t! Learning is a process, and it takes time and practice.
No one is good at everything the first time around. Just keep practicing and don’t give up. You’ll get there eventually!
I hope the tips in this post will help you find new ways to learn something quickly. Which of these did you resonate with most? Let me know in the comments below!