noun. the process or practice of learning a subject without a teacher or formal education; self-education.
The biggest barriers people find when it comes to self-education is procrastination, commitment, self-doubt, memory and focus. If that sounds familiar, then you’re in good company. There are ways, however, to break through those barriers.
- Pick what you learn wisely. Your brain can only handle so much in one day. Stop the stream of endless information by choosing to divide your attention less, and give your mind the space to learn and process something new.
- Plan and set goals. Planning will give you direction and help you set your intentions. In other words: Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines.
- Give yourself an hour. An hour of focused learning is more effective than 3 hours of shallow learning. Try Cal Newport’s deep work philosophy (which includes coffee, music and timers).
For you to get into the peak state, you need to remove the distractions from your environment. Here are a few ideas for that:
- Hide your phone and put it on silent mode.
- Use a distraction blocking app (try Focus Me).
- Go into the isolation mode.
- Wear a noise-blocking headphone.
- Clear out the physical clutter (stuff) or digital clutter (tabs and folders).
Then, you can also enhance your focus by pre-conditioning your mind using:
- Coffee before a session.
- Sleep or nap before a learning session.
- Deep breathing before a session.
- Exercise before a learning session to enhance focus (or after a session to improve memory retention).
- Music during a session.
- A timer or Pomodoro technique during a session.
- Give procrastination the high-heeled boot. The best way to beat procrastination is to just get started.
- It’s a mindset. The mindset you need for learning is the “growth mindset”. First, you need to believe that your future will be better because of the time you’re investing in learning. Second, you need to believe in yourself that your potential is unlimited and you can improve no matter where you are today or how many times you’ve failed before.
- Learn with a beginner’s mind. “Shoshin” comes from Zen Buddhism and translates to “beginner’s mind”. If you approach everything like a child, where you are open to new perspectives, where you are eager and curious about things you have never thought about, and where you can have a little fun — you are setting yourself up for a beautiful experience.
turn down your mind and turn up these tunes
LET’S END WITH SOME AFFIRMATIONS, SHALL WE?
I can learn anything. I trust the process and I know learning is the pathway to a better future.I embrace challenges, obstacles, and difficulties because they make me stronger and better.I space out my learning and give my mind the recovery it needs.I fuel my mind and body with nutritious food, good sleep, and exercise.I succeed or I learn — either way, I win.