How To Learn Faster

[ Johns Hopkins ]

“What we found is if you practice a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row,” says Celnik. The work, described in the Jan. 28 edition of the journal Current Biology, has implications not only for leisure skills, like learning to play a musical instrument or a sport, but also for helping patients with stroke and other neurological conditions regain lost motor function, he says.

The key is slightly.

I enjoy learning, but sometimes the pace is slower than I’d like. Here is a list of some of the things I’m trying to learn:

  • How to program in Swift and develop an app I’ve been needing but haven’t found on the App Store.
  • How to code better in HTML and CSS so I can make the websites I want.
  • How to design better using Sketch.
  • How to write better.
  • How to talk persuasively and eloquently.
  • How to take beautiful photographs: Check out my Instagram feed at @jnskm and let me know what you think.
  • How to talk, read, and write in Japanese and Chinese.

There are many more things I’d like to learn, but as you have probably figured out I don’t have enough time, not if I want to be really good at them. The research by Johns Hopkins was limited to motor skills, but because everything we do connect back to the brain I think the approach of slightly modifying our practice when learning something can also be applied to skills that are non-motor.