To remain a sought-after specialist in the face of growing competition in freelancing, you need to be an “eternal student”. Learn new technologies, try yourself in related fields, and improve skills.
The statement that it is easy to learn new things only in school and student years is often just a stereotype. In fact, the human brain is a complex organ, it can form new neural connections until old age. Therefore, with the help of certain tricks, you will be able to stimulate this process.
We will tell you how a freelancer can create conditions for his brain under which knowledge is postponed for a long time, and information is absorbed faster.
1. Handwritten Notes
Many on personal experience managed to see how useful it is to write down new information on paper. What is more important here is not that later you can quickly refresh your knowledge by looking at the notes, but the process itself. To make short notes, you need to carefully process the information, which means that the brain will better comprehend what the lecturer said.
This rule is confirmed by scientific studies conducted among students of US universities in 2014. Part of the group during the lecture wrote down information in notebooks, and the other kept notes on a laptop. As a result, those who took notes by hand better understood the topic and learned the new material.
However, it must be remembered that it is not the process of writing with a pen on paper that is important, but a brief note of the material in your own words.
2. Internal exam
The results of studies of the brain show that learning is more effective if there is slight background anxiety. For example, the date of the exams is approaching, there is excitement about the upcoming report, and so on. A little stress activates the brain, as a result, information is remembered faster.
Starting to learn something new, it is worth setting a control date – appoint an “internal exam” to check the knowledge gained. For example, after each topic you have completed, you can test yourself with tests or by performing practical tasks. If it was not possible to score the intended number of exam points, make a “re-examination”, and if the results are good, then you can reward yourself for your work.
3. The role of the teacher
In the course of research on the work of the brain, scientists from the University of Washington conducted an experiment in which students needed to study a certain topic. All the test takers were divided into two groups – one needed to memorize the information in order to then explain it to other people, and the second was preparing to pass a standard written exam. As a result, the students of the first group showed a better assimilation of new material and plunged deeper into the topic.
When explaining to another person, we ourselves begin to better analyze and structure the data. At the same time, gaps in knowledge are discovered that can be quickly eliminated.
If you are faced with the task of mastering a complex topic, imagine that it will then need to be presented in simple words to parents or younger brothers and sisters. Learning new things will go faster.
4. Changing the way you learn
Some people note that to memorize they need visual images – schemes, tables, illustrations. For others, audio lectures are more suitable. During training, we often do not go beyond our usual methods, and in vain. Scientific experiments show the opposite: periodic changes in learning regimes or a combination of them give better results.
Repeating the material or learning a new complex topic, you need to combine learning algorithms. For example, read the material in the textbook, then consolidate it with a video lecture with illustrative examples, solve the same practical problem in two or three different ways. New manuals, courses, another way of studying significantly activate the brain.
5. Study without haste
The author of the bestseller “How We Learn: The Amazing Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens,” Benedict Carey, makes the following point: Information is forgotten more quickly with a short intensive training. It is important for the brain to be given time to learn new data. Therefore, it is much more effective to practice for an hour 3 times a week than for three hours 1 time per week.
It is best to return to the topic again a few days after studying the material and consolidate the passed practical tasks. After that, you can move on.
6. Increased complexity
As soon as the studied topic is fixed with practical tasks and the “internal exam” is passed, move on to more complex material. Everything studied has now remained in long-term memory.
If you repeat what is already “bouncing off the teeth”, you may get the impression that you already know quite a lot, although in fact only the basics have been mastered. In psychology, this phenomenon is called the “illusion of competence”, when the brain is concentrated on what it already knows, and hardly perceives new information.
It is best to alternate between easy and difficult in learning, to try to solve the passed tasks in new ways.
7. Daily Routine
The rhythm of life of a freelancer is completely different from the rhythm of an office worker – it is not always possible to clearly distinguish between time for work and rest. Work sometimes captures more and more free time, including hours allotted for sleep.
The last tip is quite obvious and predictable, but this does not negate its effectiveness. For quick learning, it is important to sleep well, walk in the fresh air and not overwork.
Everyone knows about the benefits of sleep for the brain, and yet we recall that chronic lack of sleep not only increases stress levels, but can also lead to depression, headaches, diabetes and even a heart attack. During wakefulness, toxins accumulate in the brain, which are excreted only in a dream. In fact, this is his only opportunity for self-purification and restoration.
Nature itself has made sure that a person develops harmoniously – physical exertion should alternate with mental. Only then will the training be effective.
How to overcome laziness when learning
Recent advances in neuropsychology show that with a sufficient level of motivation, even the laziest person can learn quickly and effectively. But how to find this motivation, if there is no special need to study the material?
Consider the most effective ways to overcome laziness and lack of concentration.
1. Change preferences
How many times has each of us postponed the start of training “for tomorrow” or “for Monday”? Eradicating this habit of bargaining with yourself is not easy, but it is possible. It is worth starting with a change in psychological attitudes. For example, learning English through a mobile application. According to statistics, if access to classes is bought for several months in advance, then a large percentage of users will not study regularly. Attitudes like “today I will miss, but tomorrow – for sure” interfere. And so it is all the time.
To eliminate this habit of constantly procrastinating, promise yourself that if you miss a class today, you will not practice again in the next two weeks. It will be psychologically more difficult to do this – so you will stop “feeding yourself breakfasts” and start training.
2. Development of willpower
Perhaps the most effective way to cope with laziness is to develop sufficient willpower. The bad news is that there are not so many people with great willpower, the good news is that it can be trained. Nikola Tesla, for example, completely abandoned desserts for this purpose. Concentration on the ultimate goal of training will also help here: a prestigious and well-paid job, success in your business, new opportunities.
3. Splitting tasks
Starting to practice with due effectiveness is hindered by the belief that it will take a lot of time and will be a difficult task. Therefore, subconsciously, with the help of various tricks, we push the beginning of work as far as possible. An effective method would be to split the task into several small steps. You should start with the easiest task. Gradually, the brain will be drawn into the work, and as a result, the starting small action can lead to incredible results. For example, the voluminous task of filling the site with content can be divided into small stages: determining the target audience, buying photos on stocks, translating interesting articles from foreign sources, writing information blocks for the main sections, and so on.
4. Use the Pursuit of Completion
The brain of most homo sapiens is designed in such a way that it is irritated by unfinished business. That is why many do not leave an uninteresting book or turn off a boring movie – unconsciously want to know how everything will end. This phenomenon was once again confirmed by a scientific experiment in which the subjects were given a puzzle with a large number of details. When it was almost assembled, the participants were allowed to stop working. There was no need to collect the picture further, but about 90% of the participants stayed to finish what they started. It is only necessary to start training and immerse yourself well in the material, after that the brain itself will push you to further work.
You can also use the capabilities of your body. Our performance and activity in learning is significantly affected by the hormonal background. Hormones regulate metabolism and cellular activity – healthy concentrations of oxytocin, endorphin, dopamine and melatonin are necessary to motivate and combat laziness:
- Dopamine allows a person to feel satisfaction from life, to remain active. It is produced in the body when remembering something pleasant. Also, healthy and tasty food contributes to an increase in its concentration in the blood.
- Melatonin has a positive effect on the entire immune system, it is produced during sleep.
- Oxytocin reduces anxiety. Its development is facilitated by massage and friendly communication.
- Serotonin affects mood and is produced by exposure to sunlight on human skin.
- Endorphin allows you to feel joy. Increases with moderate physical exertion.
Do not neglect such simple things as a walk, chatting with friends or dinner in your favorite restaurant. They help not only to dissipate, but also to even out the hormonal background for the further path to your goal.
To quickly memorize the material and learn complex topics, you need:
- change the ways of obtaining information, combine them;
- practice regularly and be sure to return to what you have learned earlier;
- mentally explain the material to others;
- arrange internal exams for yourself;
- keep brief notes by hand.
In the fight against laziness and the habit of “procrastinating for later”, will help to train willpower, split a complex task into simpler ones, as well as a reasonable attitude to rest.