How I Hacked My Learning to Learn Faster

It’s never a bad time to learn how to hack your learning to learn more because “Knowledge is power.” If you follow me on social networks or get my newsletters, then you know I love to learn.

The truth though is that I never really loved the idea of learning. When you’re forced to learn stuff you don’t want to learn, it makes the process of learning new stuff that much harder.

You see, when I grew up I never liked traditional schooling because it was sooooo boring and the stuff I was being taught was at such a slow pace. I was even told that I had a learning disorder.

To get to the point, school isn’t for everyone.

The good news though is that I can share with you some amazing tips and tricks you can apply to your life that will speed up your learning exponentially.

The Four Different Types of Learners

To understand how to hack your learning you need to understand the types of learning out there. So let me share them with you before we dive more in depth.

1. Visual,
2. Auditory,
3. Reading/Writing, and
4. Kinesthetic

Each one of the four types responds best to a different method of teaching. For example, you could write about being healthy, but having a hands-on experience (kinesthetic learning) would ingrain into your brain so much more knowledge.

As for myself, I am mostly a visual and kinesthetic learner because when I can see what’s happening with my own eyes I can remember a lot more.

Here’s a quick chart with some good examples of the four learner types.

four-types-of-learners-2

Now that you have a basic understanding of the four types of learners let’s take that information and build on it to hack your learning.

Time Not Repetitions

A lot of us on planet Earth like to brag about the stuff we do. For example, I just worked out for ten hours straight; I just read 10 books in one day; you get the idea.

You see, it’s not about the repetitions because even though you can read 10 books in one day, it’s not going to be something you can recall very easily.

Remembering 50% of an entire book is hard enough, but trying to “speed read” 10 books in a single day isn’t going to do you much good if you’re not remembering what you read. You see, it’s not hard to read books, or watch entire lectures about things you want to learn, the hard part is remembering.

What it really comes down to is this: You need to learn knowledge about how learning actually works.

It sounds easy, but it takes a minute to get the hang of it so let me explain.

Remember a moment ago when I was talking about how much I didn’t like the traditional schooling system. Well, like I said, it’s because they teach you not only boring stuff they also teach you in the completely wrong way, which is the repetition way.

It’s about time not repetition.

The way in which the education system teaches us is by delivering concrete information: names, dates, numbers, facts, charts, and textbooks that never seem to end. However, the guidance they offer on the act of learning itself — the “metacognitive” aspects of learning — is more hit-or-miss, and it shows and that’s because almost 90% (if not all) of the stuff taught is forgotten.

bruce-lee-i-fear-not-compressor

Anyone can practice something 10,000 times in a day, but enter the time factor and you become unstoppable. Time is a major factor when it comes to learning, among other things.

Exercising your brain is key to gaining more thinking power and that’s because when you are training yourself to memorize over time, understand, or solve a problem — new neuron connections are being formed.

The more you train and learn over time, the more neuron connections form.

You can think of it much like bodybuilders. They spend years training and eating to master their bodies. The mind works in the same way when you challenge yourself to learn over time.

A great example is the 10,000 hour rule which states that you must work at something for 10,000 hours in order to master it. Now you can’t pump out 10,000 hours in one single blow because you would die if you tried to work 10,000 hours straight.

New ways are being created between many nodes of information when you learn over time, alongside learning the right way. You must exercise for your brain to grow in knowledge.

Our muscles increase in power of squeezing when we exercise alongside learning the right way. This is called mechanical power.

When new connections are being made in the brain, it increases your ability to recall past knowledge, which will then allow you to build up new knowledge.

Most of our schooling systems don’t work in our favor to further our education.

The picture below sums up what I’m talking about:

school-system-img

You see, everyone is different and as nice as it would be to teach the same thing to everyone it just doesn’t work like that. It just makes me really mad that the colleges, MBA programs, and pretty much all types of schooling never take into account the individual learner.

It sucks to hear, but it’s the truth. Remember what I mentioned a moment ago: most schools teach concrete information.

99.9% of schooling is set up to be a business and all they’re created to do is take your money in exchange for some basic knowledge. With that said, there are some professions that you need schooling for, like becoming a brain surgeon.

When I went to school I remember being in sixth grade heading into school for career day. Not going to lie, I was pretty excited about career day because I wanted to grow up and be a musician, a highly successful business owner, or someone that could change the world.

Once the day started there were about 10 careers that you could choose from, each in their own room where you could go in and talk to the person hosting that career.

For example, there was a doctor/physician, police officer, firefighter, teacher, salesman, chef, lawyer, sales representative, and a few others.

Now although at the time I though 200k a year salary was a great wage I still wasn’t sold on the idea of any of these options. None of them struck my interests and none of them were something that I would want to wake up and do for the next 50 years.

I told my teacher what I wanted to do and, no lie, she said: Scott, you shouldn’t set your goals so high because you will most likely be mad with the outcome. The careers you have to choose from today are all possible and you must choose one of them. The selection of one of the 10 careers you have today will be the next week’s assessment where you will be filling out everything which will have a big impact on your grade and your future.

First off, I was just pissed as hell!

Who has the right to tell anyone (let alone a kid) that they shouldn’t have such big goals and dreams in mind. Terrible, terrible, terrible way to teach and force children to learn how to work for someone else for the rest of their lives.

Hacking your learning first and foremost comes down to learning the right way.

Break It Down into Chunks

Learning anything in life is so much better in bite-sized chunks.

Daniel Coyle, in his best-selling book, The Talent Code, says that “chunks are to skill what the letters of the alphabet are to language.”

Each chunk is almost useless, but together they form complex and beautiful things. It’s much like each scene in a movie; each scene doesn’t tell you much, but together they make up the entire movie. 😉

If you try to take on something you’ve never learned before, don’t dive into expert level. It’s like telling a kindergartner to learn Abstract Algebra or Advanced Engineering Math when the kid can barely count to ten. It’s possible, but it’s not a good idea to go about things this way.

Chunks and bite-sized, on a level that you feel comfortable with.

Another great example is when I take on clients that don’t make any amounts of money online. What you won’t see me teaching them is advanced sales funnels, traffic campaigns, and persuasions. I must first give them the basics and the fundamentals in order to learn advanced stuff.

If you try to jump into the advanced stuff because it sounds sexy, almost everything will go in one ear and out the other.

I am sure the video above isn’t real and if it is real… I have no idea what the hell he is talking about. LOL

My point proven that you need to start at a level you can comprehend. 😉

Take everything down to chunk-sized and perfect each part and then once you master each part, you can combine them into something beautiful. It’s much like how you play the guitar. You learn a chord, you learn to strum, you learn more chords and after you keep learning chunks, you begin to learn entire songs.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Whenever I set out to learn something, I think of what the end result will be. If, for example, it’s reading a book (which anyone can do) I will be left with more knowledge and expertise on the subject.

When you approach learning with the end result in mind, you can 2x, 3x, and even 5x, your learning pace.

Getting into the habit of knowing what lies at the end will push you to get there faster. Once you reach the end, you need to reward yourself because if you simply just jump to the next thing, you won’t get the reward of your hard work.

In another great book I highly recommend, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, he writes: Rewards are at the foundation of habit formation.

It’s hard to build up a habit to learn faster and retain more knowledge, but when you do that with rewarding yourself, it makes the process so much easier. Once you make your behavior a habit, you will perform and learn at a much easier and faster pace.

Start working towards habit forming and while doing just that, make sure to reward yourself along the way.

Time Is the Teller of Knowledge

As I stated a little bit ago, it’s about time not repetition. What I would like you to also start doing over the time you learn is to learn in the right time of day.

For example, trying to learn and consume knowledge when you’ve been up for 72 hours straight isn’t going to be a very good “time” to learn. Learning something at the right time is just as important as the amount of hours you put into that task.

For example, if you’re training 12 hours a day every day, this is not an effective way to learn. You need to rest and refuel. As much as we would like to read every book in existence, it’s just not going to happen (anytime soon that is).

I wrote an amazing article that you should check out: How to Have The Most Productive Day Ever

In the article I talk about a thing I like to call “Time Chunking” which is more or less setting up your day around productivity. You can apply Time Chunking into your learning, which will work wonders for you in consuming knowledge when you sit down to learn.

You should schedule out your most awake and alert time for learning every day. Why? You will learn and be able to reference back to what you learned time and time again.

Learning to learn faster isn’t something that happens overnight. If you’ve been reading, then you should know that by now.

Thanks for reading; please leave me your feedback on what you think in the comments section below. Also, tell me any ways that you might use to learn faster. 😀

Scott “always seeking knowledge” Hurtado