How to Learn Faster

Do more in less time… Is it possible to do more in less time? Actually, when it comes to learning, YES. The key to learn faster, though, is to build good habits and to experiment with learning hacks to see if they work for you. Here are a few suggestions on ways to learn faster.


Learn to Read Faster

Reading is a key ingredient in learning. If you can process more information in the same amount of time, you can truly learn faster. That isn’t to say you want to sacrifice reading comprehension, but it is a worthy tool if you can glean the concepts in less time.

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Learn by Connections, Not Memorizing

Much like we described in our previous analysis of The Cornell Method or the basics of note-taking, if you synthesize what you learn into your own words, you’ll learn it better and faster.

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Learn via Practice

Distributed practices is one of the best tools to employ in learning faster. It essentially creates muscle memory for your brain. Remembering something for one recall tends to let it slip over time, but if you must recall it more than once, it starts locking in.

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Learn with Video

We’ve written about online learning before, and online video courses are abundant. Visit YouTube and search for videos to learn just about anything, and you’ll probably find it. Want to learn faster with video? YouTube allows changing the playback speed. If you’re learning guitar, it can help to slow the video down to see the precise finger movements of a teacher. If you’re learning how to cook, you can watch the video at 1.5X and get through it 50% faster without losing any real performance. Video is a great teaching tool, and you can watch it repeatedly (practice) to capture your lessons.

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Learn from Masters

The First 20 Hours by Josh KaufmanJosh Kaufman ran some interesting learning experiments in his best-seller The First 20 Hours. One of the most effective tools was studying with a master. For example, he hired a master yogi to train him on core yoga exercises, building a super foundation for anything that followed. Invest early in master training to avoid the grind of figuring it out for yourself over a long period of time. Josh Kaufman presented at TEDx too.

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Learn with Physical Activity

When you’re learning, it’s good to incorporate some motion – like gestures or walking around. Researchers continue to look for the correlation, but suffice to call it brain muscle memory…

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Learn with Variety

Learning is best in a multi-sensory world. If you can combine visual, audio and physical input, you will learn faster and better. Think how much faster you can learn a language by living in a foreign country – that immersion of seeing, hearing and living the experience accelerates progress exponentially.

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Learning How to Learn Faster

We’ve presented a few lifehacks to help you learn faster. Different techniques work better on different types of learning, so see what applies to what you’re learning and give it a try. Inevitably you’ll find yourself learning faster and better over time. Most importantly, never stop learning and learn faster when you can!



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