How to learn on your own

“14 Ways to Acquire Knowledge”

1. Practice
2. Ask
3. Desire
4. Get if from yourself
5. Walk around it
6. Experiment
7. Teach
8. Read
9. Write
10. Listen
11. Observe
12. Put in order
13. Define
14. Reason

~ James Mangan

A 1936 guide to learning that still rings true.


What’s your style?

“For independent learners, it’s essential to find the process and methods that match your instinctual tendencies as a learner. Everyone I talked to went through a period of experimenting and sorting out what works for them, and they’ve become highly aware of their own preferences. They’re clear that learning by methods that don’t suit them shuts down their drive and diminishes their enjoyment of learning. Independent learners also find that their preferred methods are different for different areas. So one of the keys to success and enjoyment as an independent learner is to discover how you learn.”

~ Kio Stark

Learn how you learn.

Read, sleep, repeat…

“After being exposed to new information, someone who experiences a good night’s sleep will have better recall of that information than someone who stays awake the whole night through. The apt apprentice listens well, sleeps soundly and repeats. She strengthens her memory (or her skillset, or knowledge base), by not only acquiring new information but consolidating it, so that it can be built upon in the future. ”

~ Robert T. Gonzalez

Learn something and then consolidate it by taking a nap.

What was I thinking?

“[…] in general, memory issues in younger people may be different from those that plague older individuals. For younger adults, stress may play more of a role, and the ubiquity of technology—including the Internet and wireless devices, which can often result in constant multi-tasking—may impact their attention span, making it harder to focus and remember.”

~ via Medical Xpress

According to this study, 14 percent of 18-39 year-old adults had memory issues, a much higher percentage than expected.

Write it out

For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information. Not only do we learn letters better when we commit them to memory through writing, memory and learning ability in general may benefit.

~ Maria Konnikova

This links with other research that found students learn better when they take notes by hand rather than typing them on a keyboard.