#33 Learn Better – Putting Things into Context

Being competitive in our era of rapid change requires a growth mindset and a will to constantly acquire new skills. Among such skills, becoming an efficient learner may be the most important one. We discuss principles for acquiring and internalizing knowledge and skills and how they relate to the model proposed in Ulrich Boser’s “Learn Better”.

01:00 Two sorts of meaning. Subjective and “objective”.
03:00 Systemical learning & thinking – putting things into context & assigning meaning to them.
05:00 Long-term & short-term memory. Brain databases which interact with consciousness & reality.
08:00 Find commonalities & surface features of complex systems. Then figure out that object’s place and behavior in the system.
09:20 Importance of sleep, rest & pauses for learning & reducing complexity of reality.
11:20 Badge your work, minimize mental transition costs. Spaced repetition.
14:50 Focus, prioritization & multitasking.
15:20 Practice, practice, practice.
16:20 Practical tips for systems-thinking.
17:50 Instinctive vs deliberate behaviour. Unconscious decisions vs conscious decisions. 
19:00 Structured learning for beginners. Understanding the basics. Focused effort & deliberate practice.
22:00 Seeking truth.
24:00 Ask others to point out your weaknesses.
25:15 Self-serving bias – the bias of over-confidence.
26:20 Regard your opinion as a work in process.
28:00 The importance of meta-cognition.
31:00 Important questions: Do I put the new information into context? Does it provide meaning?
32:45 The attention span – how to gain focus.
35:00 Remove potential distractions from your field of attention.
36:30 Try to get a clear view of your emotional state.
38:00 Strive for a growth mindset – believing is important.
38:50 Make a mental note about how you reach positive learning states in order to replicate them.
39:45 Embrace the struggle.
41:00 Failing is evolving.
42:50 Boser’s six step process to learning better: 1) We need to want to learn (value), 2) Set goals, small and attainable (target), 3) Hone and practice your new skills by quizzing and self-explaing (develop), 4) Try your knowledge in reality or on others (extend), 5) Try to fit your new knowledge to previously known facts or procedures (relate), 6) Question your knowledge, reconsider and apply other angles to it (rethink).
49:00 Two takeaways to try for yourselves: Ask if you are putting new knowledge into context, and practice meditation for three minutes per day.
51:00 Thanks and bye.


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