How to learn new things quickly and happily, by Karen Little


Apple and peanut snacks by Karen Little

Read or listen to this article about how to learn new things quickly and happily:


To take the stress out of learning new things, whether in school, on the job, or just updating your interests, there are 4 things you can do to reduce the stress. These include eating to learn, cutting to the chase, using summaries, and fidgeting. Two of these things reduce your workload, and the remaining two improve your energy.


Workload


Note Taking: The more information you can capture that reduces the information you need to learn, the easier it will be to learn, even when you just glance at it. Yes, we've always been able to take notes by writing, but with today's tools commonly available to most of us, we can:

  • Take photos

  • Mark up those photos

  • Take screen captures of still information or video, and mark-up the captures with arrows, highlighting, and written notes

  • Take videos

  • Edit those videos, including adding photos to them

  • Document information through recording apps, many of which are available through other apps, including video

  • Translate recorded information into written words

  • Translate written words into audio recordings

  • Consult with others through streaming services like Skype, Zoom, and Facetime

  • Record the consultations!

  • Copy and paste written information

  • Embed the various things you record into documents, such as Google Word or other "word processing-type" apps.

  • Make use of powerful free services like Google Drive to store, as well as combine your notes, so you can access them wherever you have an Internet connection

  • Download your online notes to your computer, tablet, or phone so you can access them when you don't have a strong Internet connection or none at all.

By creating your own reference material, you pinpoint exactly what you need to learn, rather than have to slog through long tutorials, whether video or text.


Summaries: Whenever possible, seek and use summaries for whatever it is you need to learn, whether based on written articles, or tutorials driven by audio and video.


You probably know that you can speed up most video/audio to up to 2x (two times) their speed. But did you know that you can use the video/audio position slider to quickly move the presentation to exactly what you need and forget the rest?


Google searches now provide links to videos that go to specific points. These links also summarize how long it will take to view them. You can easily do this yourself by moving the position slider along the presentation and guessing where the subject you need starts. Consider copying the video from that point on, or at least making a list of key spots for later review. There are also summary services now available that are fueled by AI (Artificial Intelligence) which reduce "great works" down to key ideas. These summaries are especially useful before you read detailed information on a subject. By quickly identifying key points, you'll significantly reduce study tension by not struggling to remember information the first time you see it.


Energy


Eating: Eat lightly before and during your study period so digestion or indigestion doesn't disturb your brain. Avoid bread unless it is heavily seeded and any type of starchy foods. Make a meal focusing on easy to digest proteins, such as eggs, nuts (peanut or soy nuts are especially good), fish, and hard fruit like apples or citrus.

Fidgeting: Set some type of a timer, maybe a fitness device or a plain old watch to keep track of how long you stay still, then get up and fidget for at least five minutes every twenty minutes or so. Keep in mind that the more you sit, your blood oxygen level suffers and that level is exactly what you want to keep high in order to stay alert.

Fidgeting includes walking about, moving your arms, and simple exercises like squats and stretching. The point is that you need to get off your chair and move a bit in order to replenish your oxygen level so you stay alert while studying.


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Thanks for considering the information I provided in this article. The links that follow point to resources that will help happily ignite your mind without subjecting it with overly tedious study.

Links:


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Written by Karen Little of Sketch-Views


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