As business owners we have to wear many different hats. And to be able to wear those competently we understand (as intelligent individuals) that we have to commit to a continuous self-fueled stream of educational activity (a bit of a mouthful).
We’re constantly told that in this day and age as a business – if you’re standing still – you’re actually moving backwards.
I also happen to LOVE learning. It makes me feel alive. I’m genuinely curious about how things work. How they fit together and why. Where are things going to, and how they got to where they’re now…
But most of us do what I call vanity reading… and vanity learning as a consequence. You’ve heard of vanity matrix in analytics right? This is exactly like that.
We’re so on the GO all the time, that we almost subconsciously pickup the next thing to read. We’re in reactive mode. We do just-in-case reading and learning, as opposed to just-in-time.
So we end up with these pools of knowledge, that seldom connect in a sensical way. And we seldom take the time to make sense of what we know.
What’s sadder is that we seldom get to an expertise level – a level where we could actually enjoy the fruits of our learning. A level where we can be of proper use to our peers… A level where we end up not serving our clients as well as we could.
I know what I say is true… I was one of those just-in-case readers/learners.
Don’t get me wrong – I was totally convinced that there’s a better way of acquiring, storing and retrieving information… That’s why I love listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast… And to hear from people like Josh Kaufman… or Josh Waitzkin.
But I was still just consuming info.
I realised at one point that I had to take things into my own hands, and just like Tim Ferriss lean into Accelerated Learning.
But me being ME – I couldn’t just take one framework and accept it as the best most effective method available.
So I took the best accelerated learning techniques on the market and then combined them with the best book reading for retention frameworks.
Then I wanted to make the result super simple – so that you can just pick it up and DO. I wanted the process to basically do itself – with you at the helm ;o)
And the result is what I have given you below.
NOTE: Just so we’re clear – the SOP below is an amalgamation of the best bits of several already amazing frameworks. I’m going to link to them in the reference section below so you can go and check them out yourself.
The point is: this is what works for me.
For YOU – you may need another slightly different version. So please use as much or as little as you like. Just make something that suits your style of reading and learning and most importantly – your requirements. Something you can sustain consistently.
Don’t just follow my lead cause it looks awesome on paper. If you need to make changes – do. Then tweak, then do again… you get the idea :o)
Anita’s Hybrid Accelerated Reading/Learning SOP
1. DECIDE why you want to read/learn this topic
2. DECONSTRUCT the skill/topic
- Find your sources of information – books/videos/articles/courses.
- Skim them to get a broad overview of your desired topic/skill.
- Pin main concepts, thought leaders, methodologies.
- Then question every single one of them.
- Keep an eye out for disparate ideas – not just horizontally, but vertically – the interplay between them is super important for your understanding & forming your own point of view.
- For each book you choose to read:
- Look for a full length lesson on the book by one of the authors on YouTube.
- Look on The Entrepreneurs Library (book reviews podcast) for a review.
- Look for the book summary.
- If you feel there are unanswered questions, or there are angles I need to explore deeper, than read the relevant chapters (or the entire book – depending on the desired outcome).
- highlight all relevant things in such way that if you had to only read the highlights you shouldn’t lose any of the meaning.
- Summarise your highlights.
- Then for each book compile the following info:
- Add your own Summary/Overview
- What’s the main concept/message of the book?
- Do you actually agree with it?
- What are the top 3 things you’ll take away from the content?
- Think of how this book applies to your objective specifically.
- How does the new knowledge fit into your existing knowledge tree?
- Is there a follow-on book from this book?
- What’s the one action I will take from this book (can be more than one)?
- the 20% of techniques/activities/tools/knowledge that yield 80% of results
- sequence – order the selected skills preparing them for use
- what if i do things in reverse order
- what if i omitted what people usually start with
- write up your POA, incl. key cards if needed.
5. REMOVE BARRIERS to practice
- make it easy to do what you want to do.
- make it harder to avoid daily practice.
6. COMMIT TO PRACTICE at least the first 20 hours
- for me = 4 week’s of my morning reading sessions – incl. reading & research
- if you want to accelerate learning, practice the new skill within 4 hours of going to bed (for cognitive skills use flashcards)
- in my Do One Thing calendar @ 1/mo
- add to my MPR for that entire month
- print key cards to have in front of me and to use to practice within 4 hours of going to bed
7. SET STEAKS – use stikK.com
8. PRACTICE & Enjoy :o)
- Tim Ferriss’ Accelerated Learning framework
- Josh Kaufman – The First 20 Hours
- Josh Waitzkin – The Art of Learning
- How to Read A Book
- Farnam Street’s Course
Imagine! And How This Little SOP Can Change Your Personal & Your Business Life
Now, remember we said that most people read and learn just-in-case… Well – imagine that everything you selected to sink your “mental” teeth into was a topic that you needed to know – i.e. it was a just-in-time topic.
You’d be much more invested into learning, right?
You’d have a clear conscience spending time on it – it directly impacts your business or you personal success, right?
Imagine how much better your retention would be. And how many opportunities you’d have to teach this topic to your peers, or to practice it in your own life (both teaching and practicing being critical to effective learning).
Imagine the effect the new way of learning will have on your confidence when you’re discussing the relevant topic. You’ll know you’ve gone in-depth enough to hold your own and to understand others’ point of views.
You’d know you can recall crucial info – because you took the time to intelligently connect the dots between your new knowledge and what you already knew and used (another trick for better retention of new materials).
And with your new confidence and knowledge – can you imagine how people who you’re interested in talking to would come asking for your attention?
Your reputation – upwards. Your confidence – upwards. Your self efficacy – empowering!
Uuuuuh! I LOVE learning :o)
Now, before you leave here – leave me a two liner about what skill you would LOVE to have in your tool set, because it’s important to leave here with an idea in mind.
It can be personal or business related.
Then go on – take as much or as little as you like and try it out. When you do – I’d love to hear if you’ve improved or simplified anything.
Be happy. Be you.
personal change catalyst
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