Hard skills are not easy. They become easier by dipping your toe in the water and learning as much as you can. I find the more I do 7 Point Saturday and spend time every week at least for an hour, learning something new, I’ve ended up needing what I learned. Or, at the very least end up lending that knowledge to someone else. All in an effort to achieve my goal of making those around me better humans.
We’re really quick to dismiss things we want to learn or become functional at as to hard or not enough time to do it. I think most of the time that comes from a place where we think we have to completely immerse ourselves in the subject matter to get there. Farther from the truth however. I’ve learned micro incursions are a great way to pick up a second language. For example, with the 15 minutes a day, a app, and focus I am learning Spanish as a second language. Let me explain some more.
I’ve read this kind of learning as “ultralearning” which is very strategic in its effort to skill up in an effort to feel more fulfilled or gain a professional angle you found you lacked. Ultraleaners like myself are self-learners. That’s the first step. Do you even want to learn? If that’s a yes, you can be a ultralearner.
“Not staying curious is akin to death.”Tim Cook
The most successful people are the ones that are taking advantage of hyper learning skills with all the resources at a touch of a finger. We need to learn or face becoming obsolete at work or at home. In the new professional landscape if today, the most desirable people I’ve learned from are hybrids in a mastery of skills, not one skill. I’ve known teacher/data analysts, architects/fashion designers, and account managers/tri-lingual. The landscape is diverse and we have to match that or face death.
Ultralearning is also something that I have learned to reach my big picture. It’s gotten me there faster. Teaching myself the skills I need to achieve the big picture has made the journey fun, but quicker. Just picking something up randomly isn’t what I am talking about. Have a purpose in what you want to pick up. If you haven’t noticed a lot of my posts each week have themes to them. It’s because what I am learning has a purpose. Posting to IBtP is just a way to share what I learn and share with you what might help you achieve stronger purpose. These are amazing short cuts I’ve been able to create on my curve to achieving my bigger objective.
As a general rule I reserve daily about 1-2 hours on my calendar for ultralearning time. Almost always the week before I have an idea of the subject or the skill I need, to take the next step towards my bigger picture. This sets me up for success. The roadmap is so much clearer when I do this too. Keeps me on the road more than I am off instead of wasting valuable learning time or resources.
During these 1-2 hours of protected time, I am off the grid. I mean totally off it. Learn the value of Do Not Disturb. Because if you don’t, someone else or something else will take it from you. Distracted learning is bad learning. You’re far less likely to retain the skill when disrupted by email pings or texts. Find your focus which will be your first challenge. Then sustaining it becomes easier with Do Not Disturb. Once you find a flow, don’t stop. Even if it happens to move past the reserved time of 2 hours. Match the level of how you feel. Once you started, more than likely you will keep going.
Some of the best learning I’ve done and when it has actually stuck is through project-based learning methods. This is learning by doing it. That’s how the app comes into play as I learn to speak Spanish more and more everyday. It gets me to speak it and do it. It’s hands on. Another thing I try to ensure in those moments is I immerse myself in it. Completely go all in. That’s why YouTube is such a great place to learn how to DIY. It’s visual and you can do it along side the video as your being taught how. Immersive.
Application is next. Elite athletes practice and practice. We need time to do this as well with what we’ve learned. Drilling is a great habit to pick up. Isolate your drills to from the newest thing learned to the oldest. This will make the connections through the progression make sense in your learning path to mastering. For my Spanish lessons I will drill myself on different scenarios that I come into contact with at work or drill in practical use case scenarios that I come in contact with during my daily travels. Applying it in the scenarios you’re most likely to use it is great drilling practice.
To be respectful to the time you have to read, I am going to split this post into two parts like I did last week. Hope you liked part one so far and the topic.
I’ll share part two of this post next week after the holidays. I hope and wish the best for you the next few days with the holidays ahead of you. See you next week for the second installment of hyper learning and it’s benefits.