This morning I found this great article by zenhabits with a handful of great learning tips.
There are several that I like and all are worth sharing but for now, here’s a few to give you a taste and if you want to see the full article see the link at the bottom of this post…
I’m no master of languages, but I’ve attempted some learning and I’ve talked to people who are much better at learning languages than me (Bennyand Tynan, for example). Here are a few things I suggest:
1. Practice every day. If you can get into the habit of practicing for at least 10-15 minutes a day, you’ll get better even if you suck at it at first.
2. Make yourself use the language. Don’t just listen or read, and don’t just repeat language tapes — actually find ways to use what you’ve learned. Talk to a language partner (you can find ones online), use it throughout the day whenever you get the chance, take online quizzes.
3. Use the Anki flashcard system. It’s free, there are lots of language flashcard sets available on the Anki site, and its spaced repetition is the best method for learning available. Do your flashcards daily, even if you suck at first. You’ll start learning inevitably.
What a wonderful thing to learn! Here’s what I’d suggest:
1. Find a really simple meditation technique if you’re just starting out. Simply sitting and counting your breath is a great way to start.
2. If your mind wanders, try to notice the wandering. Gently return to the breath.
3. A tip from my teacher, Susan: When you notice your urge to get up from meditation, don’t follow the urge, just sit there. The second time you have the urge to get up, don’t get up. The third time you have the urge, go ahead and get up. This helps you to notice urges and not need to act on them.
4. Don’t be afraid to really work to concentrate on your breath. A lot of people allow meditation to be a time when they just sit and think quietly, which is fine, but if you really want to learn meditation, practice concentration. Put some effort into it!
Subject like history or math
I’ve studied various subjects that interest me, but I don’t consider myself an expert (I’ve never gotten a PhD, for example). That said, I will make a few suggestions:
1. Quiz yourself before you study something — yes, you’ll get a lot of things wrong, but it will make your learning even stronger, because when you get to the answers in your study, you’ll recognize them as things you don’t know and make some solid connections with that knowledge.
2. Quiz yourself regularly. It helps to take a quiz right after your study session, but also a couple days later, and a week after that, etc. This regular habit of forcing yourself to retrieve the knowledge will be difficult, but will interrupt your forgetting and make the learning last longer.
3. Again, use the Anki flashcard system. It’s free, there are lots of subject-based flashcard sets available on the Anki site, and its spaced repetition is the best method for learning available. Do your flashcards daily, even if you suck at first. You’ll start learning inevitably.
4. Join a study group. There are lots of other people studying what you’re studying, and surprisingly, they’re online! This will help motivate you, help you when you get stuck, and deepen your learning because you’ll make lots of connections between what you’re learning and the interactions you’re having with people.