In this blog, if you are looking to upskill yourself or just enhance the ones you have, these ten strategies for learning new skills will definitely help you achieve mastery.”

Most of us have an odd relationship with learning; we know that doing so will help us get new opportunities, but even the idea of picking up books and taking notes is hectic. 

And we totally relate to it too.

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The problem is that not everyone learns at the same pace, and we often compare ourselves with others and feel discouraged. If you want to learn things quickly, you need to understand your learning style and adapt learning strategies that help you retain the information longer. 

Whether you are looking to upskill yourself or just enhance the ones you have, these ten strategies for learning new skills will definitely help you achieve mastery.

Strategies for Learning New Skills

Concrete examples 

Often, we face difficulty learning concepts because we don’t see how a particular thing is applicable in real life. Here, using concrete examples as your learning strategy can be useful. Concrete examples are ones you can see, touch, taste, smell, or hear. These are drawn from actual experiences and can be easily measured.

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This learning strategy works great for both learners and facilitators. For educators, it makes it easy to explain the most complex concepts with ease, and for students, it’s simple to learn and retain. With every point, educators should include an example to make the training effective and useful.

Related: The difference between knowledge and skills: knowing does not make you skilled

Use science to learn new skills 

Learning new skills changes the working of your brain in a substantial way, including better verbal intelligence, increased language skills, and other unexpected behaviors. Also, the more fluent in a skill you become, the less work you have to do. And, over time, the skill becomes automatic, and you don’t feel that you are even putting in an effort.

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Here are some scientific strategies for learning new skills:

  • Force yourself to learn new skills without guidance or help. At first, you can use them to get an idea of what you have to learn, but if you keep doing it for a long period, you become totally dependent on resources. So, use your basic learning to figure out concepts through trial and error. 
  • When you start a new skill, you become obsessive and start binge-learning. However, this might not be the best idea. The distributed practice works more than sitting down for hours. So, if you want your brain to retain the knowledge you are consuming, always break it into smaller sessions to charge your neutrons. 
  • Our brain is tuned to work better at certain points on certain days; thus, studying or practicing when it’s the most active is crucial. Studies show that we learn best before we sleep, and when we sleep right after learning something, it is significantly better retained. 

Related: What is life skills education & why it is important

Give yourself a deadline

Many people work well on deadlines. To fully commit to learning new skills, they need to put it on the calendar and work towards it. If you are one of those, give yourself a deadline and set a goal to learn skills.

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Take smaller steps, break down your goal into timelines, and achieve each milestone. Instead of trying to learn everything at once, you can simplify the process and make a curriculum of your own and prioritize your skills to learn.

Related: Tips to improve your writing skills for business

Find a mentor 

If you need guidance in learning something, finding a mentor is the best way to move forward. Mentorship offers invaluable experience and perspective, which is crucial for learning new skills faster. At first, you can ask your friends, coworkers, or family for expert guidance, and then branch out to the larger community and industry.

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An expert will help you fast-track your learning and tell you exactly what you should do and, more importantly, what not. It’s the insider knowledge and experience that make having a mentor important. 

When finding a mentor, do thorough research on their expertise and experience in the field so that you shouldn’t miss out. Choose someone that’s not so far along that they don’t even have time to guide you. Your mentor should be easy to reach on most days, and they should value the effort you are putting in. On a side note, mentorship is the costliest strategy for learning new skills, so make sure it’s value-packed.

Related: 5 popular employee training methods for workplace training

Learn by doing 

Humans learn best when they perform tasks that they want to learn. Learning is more than just getting good grades; it’s about using that information in the practical world. And most of our learning takes place when we start doing this. As students, we realize that concepts that seem easy in textbooks are much harder in reality.

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For instance, if you are learning how to paint, don’t spend all of your time understanding jargon and theory; instead, take out your paintbrush and dive in as soon as you master your painting skills through trial and error. In the process, you will understand what works and what doesn’t. So, the more you do, the more you learn.

Related: 5 places to get answers to your e-learning questions

Teach what you learn 

Teaching what you learn is one of the top strategies for learning new skills. It might seem surprising, but according to research by Springer, “Expecting to teach enhances learning and organization of knowledge in free recall of text passages.” 

In the study, two groups of participants were expected to teach later on the subject, and the other was just asked to appear in the test. So, which team do you think would have performed better? Yes, the one who was expected to teach.

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This happened because expected learners felt responsible and accountable to the person who would be their student. And, when we have the intention of teaching, we try our best to get the maximum amount of information so we can teach better. 

So, if you can find people who would benefit from your learning, you should definitely try this approach.

Related: Blended learning: How your school can combine online and offline learning

Test yourself 

As a child, we all hated tests, but they’re one of the most effective strategies for learning new skills. If you are only spending time learning and not evaluating your performance, then there is a high chance that you aren’t optimizing your maximum potential.

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In fact, testing beats the traditional method of reviewing or reading notes. So, if you want the learning you are consuming to stay, then don’t run away from tests. In this digital era, you don’t even need a classroom and a teacher to give tests; you can easily jump online and look for online courses with high evaluation metrics.

Related: Online course evaluation surveys 3 smart ways to get feedback [+1 template]

Acquire sub-skills 

A common mistake that many learners make is committing to learning mega skills. Someone who has a background in that space can think of doing it, but not others. Sub-skills are as important as your main skills; they make it quite easier for you to understand the mega skill.

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If you want to learn public speaking, you need a couple of sub-skills, like a stronghold on your language, gesture learning, question handling, etc. So, instead of starting directly with public speaking, you can master these sub-skills first and then hop on to the main one. Sub-skills are quite handy, and they put your main skills into action.

Related: Important factors affecting teaching in 2022

Improve your memory 

Not everyone is blessed with a great memory. While it’s completely normal, it is definitely frustrating. You are always trying to remember stuff, and at times it feels like you don’t know anything. Genetics plays a major role in memory loss, but there are plenty of ways you can adapt to revive your memory, like-

  • Regular experience and having a healthy lifestyle can help improve your memory. Besides physical exercises, make sure you do meditation to reduce stress and tension in your brain. 
  • Sleep plays a crucial role in memory consolidation; research has proved that people who sleep well perform 20% better in memory tests than others. Health experts recommend that adults get at least 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal health. 
  • Eliminate all distractions so you can dedicatedly work on what you are learning. 
  • Use the elaborative method of learning, so whatever you learn, either write or explain it to yourself in your own words. This way, you can foster better memory and retain learning. 

Related: Level of teaching – Memory, Understanding & Reflective Level in 2022

Take online courses

Everyone has a unique attention span, but you retain more when you break your learning over time. So, instead of learning everything together, you can master smaller key topics. And the best way to do this is via online courses.

There are a lot of online courses on the market that you can choose from to get the most relevant information. You can go for the one that includes one-to-one mentorship, valuable course material, and relevant assessment options. And once you feel that you have mastered one topic, you can hop on to the next one.

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And this is where Graphy comes into the picture.

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Related: Graphy: The best Thinkific alternative in 2022

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