DEMYSTIFYING SELF-LEARNING: HOW TO LEARN ANYTHING
Self-Learning is a survival skill that is needed to learn and unlearn both pleasant and unpleasant experiences that have come our way as we grow. Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Office – Keeping skills? Programming? Or even digital marketing?
At every point in our lives, we have situations that motivate us to learn something new by ourselves using the most affordable or readily available materials and resources.
What is Self Learning? Self Learning can be referred to as learning done by oneself; without a teacher or an instructor. It will also be beneficial here to mention the broad concept of Self Directed Learning (SDL), which is a process by which someone can determine their learning needs, create learning goals, find useful materials and resources, create their learning plan and schedule with or without help from anyone. This is exactly the skills we all need to succeed and adapt in our fast-changing world.
Here are five essential tips to help us learn our way.
1 Attitude is Everything
Before you embark on a self-learning project, it will do you good to ensure your attitude is right. You have to believe in yourself as being capable of achieving anything you set your mind to do. We have the willpower within us as humans to achieve greatness if only we can focus our minds and avoid negative influence from our immediate environment. The popular speaker and author Zig Ziglar says: “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”
You must have a “Can-Do” attitude to succeed as a self-learner.
2 Prepare Yourself
Set a Learning Goal: At the beginning, your self-learning project must be tied to a goal. For instance, I want to learn about Budgeting My goal will be: I want to reduce my expenditure by 20% over the next two months. What is SMART? Is SMART an acronym?
Create a Study Plan: You need a realistic and steady study plan; for instance, I might decide I will be studying about budgeting every night for an hour before dinner. This is a practical study plan as anything after dinner is not feasible.
Materials and Resources: You need to prepare all the documents you will need to succeed in your project. There are several resources on the internet to help us learn virtually anything. Free resources include, but not limited to:
- MOOCs (edX, Coursera, Udemy, Udacity)
- e-Book Lists (Personal MBA, Good Reads, Kindle and many more..)
- Videos (YouTube, Lynda etc)
- E-Learning Courses (WayMaker Learning, ILX etc)
- Textbooks (Check your local Library)
3 Start Learning and Reproduce What You Learn
Right attitude checked? Study plan and Resources checked? It is time to dive into your self-learning project. Be sure to study in a safe environment devoid of distractions, eliminate any noise that might interfere with your learning and ensure you make notes in your own words. How good your self-learning project is going can be assessed by the quality of the content you can reproduce in your own way using text/ images/ games/ illustrations /videos (Avoid plagiarism at all cost).
It is also essential to use real-life scenarios in illustrating the concepts you have learned, employ memory games (mnemonic devices) to enhance learning. Ruthlessly stick to your study plan/schedule as it happens that people usually lose steam along the way.
4 Practice Practice Practice!
Practice they say makes perfect. Practice with friends, family members, coworkers, and everything around you. If you’re on a self-learning project, the people close to you should notice the changes in either your vocabulary, gesticulations, etc.
Remember those times we were learning the latest Rap in town? You’ll listen to the tape so much everybody around you will become irritated. That’s the idea of practicing what you learn.
5 Request Feedback
This is important, always ask for feedback on what you’ve learned. There are so many Opinion Leaders and Influencers that can give you instant feedback on virtually anything on the internet. You can politely ask for their opinions on your project, you can also join discussion boards/forums depending on your learning area to read and ask for feedback.
Thank you, Happy Learning.
Also published on Medium.