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Learning to learn: 7 smart tricks to make self-education more effective

It’s great to educate ourselves. After all, we can decide what, when, and how to study. But at the same time, it requires more dedication, concentration, and discipline. In this article, we want to share tips from personal experience on the topic of “how to study” and how to extract the maximum benefit from it.


Be selective in your choice of materials

When we have a choice of what and when to learn, it is cool to take full advantage of it. To avoid wasting time and money, read reviews before you buy a lecture, course, or book. Check the grades. Find out the descriptions and the information about the level the material is designed for. For example, if you are an expert, a lecture for beginners is unlikely to be useful to you. Conversely, “advanced” material in any field will be more difficult until you have mastered the basics.

Plan your training into your schedule

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. An unexpected meeting comes up, or you don’t feel like doing anything after work. Choose for yourself the days of the week and a specific period when you can devote time to self-education. And ironically book it for training. Put it on the calendar just like a trip to the salon, the gym, or a business meeting. And even a couple of hours a week will be cooler and more effective than nothing.

Make it comfortable for you to study

Some people like to sit at a desk, some like to sit on the couch under a plaid. Some like to sit in a coffee shop. Make it comfortable for you. Prepare in advance everything you might need in the process: notepad and pen, tea or water, charger for your phone and laptop, headphones, stickers. And then to the next point.

Focus on the process

The temptation to distract yourself from reading or watching a lecture to check your phone notifications is great. “Just to check who texted, for a minute.” And then we either get pulled into texting, or we go back to the lecture, but can’t stop thinking about what was in the message. Concentrating on the material becomes more difficult.

Try using the Pomodoro system and set a timer that alternates between studying and resting. For example, 35 minutes of concentration and 5 minutes of break. Or another interval that is convenient for you. In such a small amount of time, you will not miss any major and large-scale things. But you will be able to learn effectively.

Take notes, make footnotes

Write out new information, try to paraphrase it in your own words, not just write down a quote. Also make a column, a page, a spread for facts, terms that you are unfamiliar with or would like to learn more about. It’s a great way to explore a topic even more deeply and to find new and useful sources to learn from.

Write as you feel comfortable. Many people believe that it is necessary to fix the outline by hand. That is why they waste a lot of time, pause the lecture or move from the couch to the table so it is convenient to take notes. It really slows down the process. Try to take notes directly on your laptop: if you type quickly, immediately highlight the important things in bold or in color, make subtopics. This will also be useful in terms of studying at university, because you won’t have to think about who will write my essay, because you will easily do the assignments that you have already done before.

Record specific tasks as a result of the material you’ve watched

Every time you watch new material, ask yourself the question, “How will I apply this information to my business?” And use it to translate what you hear into specific tasks, fixing them with a deadline. For example, at a lecture, you heard that interactive mechanics in Stories (tests, surveys) increase reach. Record this not as a fact, but as a task: “Do two tests on my blog topic in Stories by the 10th, track and compare the reach to regular stories.” That way, the whole process of reviewing the material becomes a kind of quest-you dive in harder and more attentively, wanting to “catch” the next such task that will help you work and grow even better. And don’t put off doing it, get down to business in the very first days. After all, knowledge will be much less useful if we do not convert it into action.

Review what you’ve learned

Set a reminder for yourself: in a few days after training, reread your notes again. Spend 10-20 minutes on it, lay out all the information, write down fresh ideas and conclusions, retell the usefulness to another person – all this will help to better memorize and systematize the knowledge.

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