How To Learn A New Skill Fast
Do you want to know how to learn a new skill fast? Ever wanted to play guitar, golf or yoga? Everything that you’ve ever wanted to learn you can achieve within a matter of hours or months, depending on the difficulty of what you want to learn.
I’ve always had a knack for learning new skills quickly. I can play multiple instruments, had a 10 handicap in golf, gained 20 of muscle through weight training, proficient in Excel and just started a lifelong dream of learning card magic.
Will you become a master after only a few hours or even months or learning? Probably not. But you’ll be surprised how quickly you can learn by implementing a few key strategies I’ve used over the years to learn almost anything in a short amount of time.
Be Interested in your subject
So where do you begin? It first starts with being truly interested in whatever you want to learn.
It’s true that if you want to learn a new skill quickly, it helps to be interested, and even passionate, about what you want to learn.
This is key because learning a new skill is frustrating and you’ll need a passion for the subject in order to get you through the awkward stages. This makes sense because you’ll be more focused and engaged while going through the process of acquiring your new skill.
Of course, there will be times when you need to learn something that you might not like. This shouldn’t deter your progress because the process will still be the same.
People learn in different ways. Some learn by reading, while others learn by listening. I learn the fastest visually. This is the primary learning method that I recommend. Seeing how to do something will greatly accelerate the learning process.
My new interest is magic. I’m currently learning various ways in how to cut a deck of cards with one hand. Watching it on video is way faster than reading it on a blog post or listen to a podcast.
I found this to be true in many areas of my life, from learning how to hit a golf ball to Excel formulas. Watching how things are done is just the quickest way to get a solid understanding of your subject.
Start with Youtube
If you don’t know by now, Youtube is an awesome resource for learning anything. 300 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute!
The downside: not all content are going to be quality videos. This means you may have to view more than one video.
I stopped playing guitar for several years. When Youtube was created, I found creators who were uploading cover songs on acoustic guitar. I started playing again when I found songs I’ve always wanted to play but never learned how.
One of the first people I learned from was a guy named Justin at JustinGuitar. I learned jazz chords, riffs and solos I never knew how to play. Now, there are now thousands of people on Youtube teaching how to play guitar.
To expand on the visual learning strategy, the key to maximizing your video lessons is by watching, then doing. Let’s say you want to learn to play a Bruno Mars song on the ukulele.
Start by watching as many tutorials of the song you want to learn. Learn what all the chords are for the song. What is the fingering for each chord? Write that down.
Start with one chord until you feel comfortable playing it solid. Then, learn another chord, and then another. Next, learn how to strum a ukulele exactly the way they teach it. There are many different strumming patterns, so you can choose which one you like best.
And finally, after days or weeks of practice, you can put all these pieces together and play that Bruno Mars song you love!
Learning a new skill fast starts with learning very slowly. Anything you try for the first time will be awkward. Accept this fact. Also, accept the fact that you will experience frustration and disappointment during this process.
This is normal. Think about all the things you’re good at now and remember the time when you were just starting out. Was it hard in the beginning? Of course, it was. So how did you eventually get better?
Starting slowly at first to increase your competency, then work to get faster and better over time. The more you practice, the better you will get. Which leads me to drill for skill.
Drill for Skill
I learned this technique as a kid playing organized sports in school. When you drill for skill, all you’re doing is practicing a technique over and over again, until it becomes comfortable and second nature.
When I was learning to do a Charlier Cut or one-handed cut of a deck of cards, I would learn the technique and drill in the skill over and over again until it felt comfortable. Now I can do it in my sleep!
This is where competency starts happening. You begin by learning slowly and then you drill for skill to acquire proficiency through consistent practice.
Always Make Adjustments
Learning skills quickly means you’re not always going to get things perfect. You may learn how to play a G chord quickly, but struggle with the strumming. This is okay as long as you know how to make forward progressing adjustments. What do I mean by that?
Forward progressing adjustments means you’re making adjustments to improve a specific skill or technique. And you would continue working on this skill until you’re proficient.
To learn the ukulele, you need to get the fingering of the chords to the point where they sound clear when you strum. Until then, you need to continually make adjustments until it does.
Give this strategies a try and see if you can learn a skill quickly in the next few weeks or months! Good luck and happy learning.
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