We tend to believe that once we are done with our schooling, the learning process will stop. We won’t be able to acquire any new knowledge, or more importantly we won’t have to acquire any new knowledge. But this frame of thought could not be any more wrong. The process of learning is not restricted to a particular age or a particular grade. We are learning something new constantly, sometimes without even realizing. You may not attend any college once you are done with your high school but still the learning process never stops. Some tend to join a college or a university or a night school to enhance your skills while some other attend some seminars or lectures or read some books for the same purpose.
So basically the process of learning can never stop. Even at the age of 60, people tend to learn new things about the changing society scenario or just life in general. Learning process is not only restricted to the subjects that you studied but the things that you observe during your day to day life. So why not make this process of learning a little easier. Why not inculcate some good habits in ourselves so that we can increase our ability to learn and make the learning process much more effective and much more fun.
Sometimes the learning process is not just limited to passing your exams or getting good grades in some test, sometimes the process is much more than that. And more importantly, the things that you learn today are not just for the retention purposes. The knowledge that you gain today is going to help you in your career tomorrow, help you at the time of parenting or even business or relationships or even sometimes as simple as getting ahead of someone at a particular task. The knowledge that you gain today is always going to come in handy sometime. So why not make sure that the knowledge that you gain stays in your mind. You make sure that you incorporate some good habits that will help you improve your learning skills. And the sooner the better, right.
So here are some pointers that you can keep in mind while working on your learning skills. This can take you a long way and make sure that the knowledge that you gain today is not lost tomorrow and stays with you as long as you want. So make sure that you keep these little points in mind the next time you are learning something.
1. Keep yourself prepared
When you are going to attend the class, try and do some study before so that you have a fair idea of what to expect from the class and what will be taught in the class. Also if already have an idea about the curriculum of the lecture then it would help you understand the lecture better and hence help you retain the knowledge better and also you will be able to ask various queries about the topic at the same time and resolve them immediately. This way you can avoid feeling confused and at loss when reviewing the topic that you just learnt. So try and prepare yourself for the lecture. Try and get the books you might need for the class or download the software that you might need so that you can easily and better understand the proceedings of the class.
2. Be organized
Keep your notes organized and well divided. Create separate folders for the various notes taken down by you in your computer or keep your notes in the separate files and folders. This little technique will not only keep you organized but will also save you a lot of trouble and make your task easier when you are in a hurry and want to find something out of your notes. And not just get organized but keep up the habit of staying organized. This will help you remember where you kept your stuff and will help you at the time of hurry. Keeping your desk organized or keeping your notes organized can make your life much easier.
3. Be punctual
Being punctual never cost anybody anything. It only helps you be ready for the class that you are about to take. Reach for the class five minutes early and try and keep everything that you need for the class ready. So that you won’t be disturbed having to sort things out during the class. This will not only affect your concentration level but will also disturb the fellow students also. Keeping everything ready will help you focus better and you will be much more attentive in the class. Being punctual helps you take you mind off other things. And being punctual for the class has an added advantage that you will complete your other tasks on time and won’t have to rush through things.
4. Keep a notebook handy
Take notes of the things being taught in the class. Taking notes can be quite helpful. Try and be multitasking but if you can’t then listen carefully during the class and take the notes later on. If the class is recorded then you can re-view the class and make notes at that time. Taking notes keeps you from the hassle of reading the whole thing and you can review the topic better and also helps you better remember the things being taught in the class. And make sure that you review your previous notes before the next class.
5. Establish your learning style
Everybody has a particular learning style so recognize your learning style and take the classes accordingly. If you are able to better understand and learnt he things just listening then you can purchase the audio CD of your class and listen to them while being stuck in a traffic jam, or you can keep in a notebook handy so that you can take notes and review them whenever you find some free time. It not only turns your otherwise useless time into productive time but it also helps to understand better as you are learning in the style which you find the best.
6. Clear your doubts is a good learning skills
If you have some questions in your mind regarding any of the topics being taught then write down the questions and make sure that you clarify all your doubts. A doubtful mind cannot grasp all the knowledge that is being given to him and he will in turn get confused, so in order to be able to understand and learn properly, make sure that all your queries are answered properly. In any case, no query is silly or there are no dumb questions in the learning process. Plus you never know, you might share your query with someone, this will provide dual benefits. It is also believed by the instructors that having a query in your mind is a sign of attentiveness because if you are not listening to what the teacher has to say then you will never be able to come up with a query. After all an attentive mind is what you need the most in order to make the learning process most effective.
7. Complete the assignments
Make sure you always complete your assignments. They can provide you with the extra help that you might need. If you are preparing from a self-help book, then make sure that you complete all the assignment given in that book. This will help you test your knowledge and will help you determine your success and how well you have learnt. You can also take some mock tests if you want. They can come in handy too. If you are attending online classes then make sure that you go through the recorded version of the class, in case you miss it. And after that, make sure solve some of the assignments given, they make sure that whatever knowledge you have just gained, retains in your mind and also tells you the key areas that you should work on in order to understand the lecture better. It is quite normal to feel lost when you seem to be getting too much information from various sources. But it calls for prioritization of the information received by you. Also having good reading and learning habits can take you a long way in the knowledge retention.
8. Create a perfect study place
Create a work station for yourself where you can dump all your study material and just get started with the learning process. Keep all the books and the things that you might need, handy. Choose the place where you want to study, carefully. You don’t want to choose a dull place. As it would result in boredom and you wouldn’t want to go there and study anymore. But you also don’t want to choose a really interesting or activity filled place because then you attention will be diverted with the other things of the room and you won’t be able to concentrate on your studies. Also you don’t want your study place to have too much noise or any other such distraction as it will make it harder for you to concentrate on studying.
9. Develop a schedule
Develop a schedule for yourself and decide how you want to study, when you want to study and where you want to study. Preparing a schedule for oneself is often not given due importance in the larger scheme of things. We often are of the opinion that having a schedule is not going to be of much help but it can be exactly the thing that you need. In order to be able to develop a schedule, create a time limit for yourself as to by which you have to complete the given assignment. If you are on a clock to complete a task, then you tend to put in much more concentrated effort in order to complete the tasks. Also setting a time limit tends to solve the problem of procrastinating and helps you avoiding the completion of the task at the last minute and not be able to give you best.
10. Start with the harder things
When you are caught up in a dilemma of choosing between the easier task and the harder task, always go for the harder one because putting off the harder task for the last minute will reduce your efficiency to half and you will not be able to produce the best results. On the other hand if you take on the harder task first, then you have ample amount of time and energy to concentrate on the completion of the task. This will help you put in a much more concentrated effort and help you complete the task with much more efficiency. But make sure that you don’t waste too much time trying to complete the harder task that you forget about the other task and hence end up giving a below average result or thinking about the various things that you could have done better.
The process of learning doesn’t seem to have an end point. It is an everlasting process. You are 6 or 60, doesn’t matter, there is always something new that you can learn out of the books, or the people that you talk to or just by observing the surroundings. Hence why not just make the most of the knowledge that you receive every day and retain it to the maximum possible time. You may never know that where and when the knowledge that you gain today might come in handy.
The pointers discussed above might seem too little and you might think that they cannot be of much help, but once you get down to trying these little things in your everyday life, and once you start making the little changes in your learning techniques, you will definitely begin to notice some remarkable differences in your learning capacity and your retention capacity. So go on, try them now. It is never too late to start learning new things. You never know what new you might learn today.