Your growth plan
As with any project, you plan that if you don’t plan, you will fail. Start with a three month written growth plan. When you write it down, you need to think clearly. Three months in a row will keep you motivated for results. Create a table with the columns from left to right for Serial Number, Impact or Goal, Outcome Measurement, Goal and Deadline, Quality, Input Actions, Required Resources, and Weekly Score. Let’s say the first requirement is to learn advanced Excel techniques. Then the effect could be that I can finish my work faster. Output measurement – use Excel without assistance, aim for a successful three months 90% of the time. Quality – straight from memory. Input actions – invest three hours a week to learn from YouTube videos and implement them in current worksheets. Resources at last – take help from colleagues. Maintain this chart and rate yourself on a scale of 10 each week. The chart will keep you on track to grow from 0/10 to 8 or 9 in three months.
The five-hour rule was popularized by Michael Simmons, founder of Empact, who says the most successful people spend at least an hour a day or five hours a week studying or practicing their entire lives. It starts with reading, a habit shared by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jack Ma, Elon Musk, and many self-made billionaires. Start small with 15 minutes a day, five minutes at a time. Start with a book – physical or electronic, or even audio. Use waiting time, training time, commuting time or a break to get going. The topic you have chosen does not matter at first. Soon you will read more books in a year than the average person’s life. This gives you a tremendous amount of direct knowledge, including how your industry and job work, and indirect knowledge of how the world works that you can apply to your job. After a while you will be miles ahead of your starting point. To speed up the process, learn to read quickly.
Do for depth
Reading is meaningless unless you take something solid away and build on what you already know. Think when you read something interesting. What does it mean to you Where does it fit what you already know? How does this affect your current role or career? How can you use it at work today? Then you find yourself forgetting what you have learned unless you write it down and use it. For example, suppose you are reading a book on an effective sales technique. Understand your notes and apply them in your next sales pitch. In subsequent calls, improve what didn’t work until it works. You are on your way to mastering a topic you didn’t know about until you read and applied it. To speed it up, experiment daily with several topics that you read and understand.
How can you take hours of learning in a busy routine? Here you can use scientifically proven facts. Short, frequent study spurts are more effective than longer, occasional sessions. Start small with 5-10 minutes between breaks in your assignments. Expand it to 30-45 minutes if you can and make it part of your routine. Mark a day to review materials and notes from the past seven days. This helps tie it into long-term memory. After all, sleeping improves learning. So make sure your brain is rested between study sessions. When faced with a difficult skill such as negotiation, practice different methods in different situations rather than repeating one. This speeds up the process of mastering.
It’s easy to look forward to a new trip, but it’s hard to stay motivated long enough to complete it or turn it into a lifelong quest. How can you make fast learning an integral part of your life’s work and reward yourself with continuous rapid progress in your career? The first step is a reminder system. Hang your learning objective on your desk or stick it on the wall or make it a wallpaper on your laptop or mobile phone. Set a calendar reminder for your daily study routine. Make sure you see your goals on a daily basis. Each time, remind yourself why you are doing this and visualize the goal. Always start with small steps and measure your progress. This will keep you away from early exhaustion and give you positive feedback that will keep you going. Know what is stopping you from achieving your goal and avoid these temptations – let me watch a video for 10 minutes and then I’ll read. Finally, get yourself an accountable person, either someone who is committed to the same path as another student in your course, or someone who will keep your promises to you like a family member or friend.
Study for exams
This stand-alone method is the best choice for best exam results. Acquire papers with false questions, including previous tests. Solve one work per day in exam deadlines. Then just study the answers you don’t know. Complete the entire questionnaire and then repeat the cycle three to five times. Don’t study anything else. Works best when you’re committed.
This method leads to maximum long-term learning and retention. Study alone, then teach others who would like to learn from you rather than working hard yourself. You get a structured processing of the topic, your memory is strengthened and your learning difficulties are ironed out by asking them. Teaching a group works better than teaching one.
When starting a new topic or topic, scan the material first. Just look at the headings or chapters or the first few lines. How is the material structured? Why? What do you learn in each phase? How does it fit in with the next subtopic? Draw or write the flow in a notebook. This speeds up the subsequent learning.
To remember what you have learned during an exam, you need to take notes. Refer to the flow you wrote. Make handwritten notes on each sub-topic by breaking it down into numbered items and further sub-items. These can be formulas, drawings, etc. For review before the exam, you have short notes that say the subtopic has four points and 13 sub-points.
5. 1 page visually
Now that you’ve taken notes for the entire exam plan, it’s time to condense it into one page. Divide the page into boxes for chapters or topics. In each box, compress the numbered subtopics and their points into 1-3 words each in small handwriting. Now revise and reproduce this sheet from memory. You are ready for the exam!
(The author is a career coach, mentor, and author of Yoursortinghat.com.)
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