37 Ways to Learn a New Skill

Jantzen Pahl on Dec 8, 2015 9:33:00 AM


  1. Use your work breaks productively
    Instead of taking out time for Facebook or Twitter, use those breaks to learn something new.Watch a training video on your gadgets. Devote 20 minutes from your lunch break to watch and learn something you do not know.
  2. Share knowledge with others of the same interests
    If you like something chances are you're not alone. Share your interests with others and sooner or later you'll find people that have the same interests as you tend to be your friends and you can use each other to better your skills and knowledge about the topic.

  3. Decide what you want to achieve
    Be specific. Do you want to learn to be a magician? or do you simply want to learn a few party tricks? If you want to lose weight then say how much weight and gives yourself a deadline to complete the task.

  4. Break the skill into the smaller sub-skills
    Most of the things we think of as skills (like “public speaking” or “playing the guitar”) are actually bundles of smaller sub-skills that are used in combination. By breaking the skill into more manageable parts, practice becomes way less intimidating, and you can work on improving one sub-skill at a time.

  5. Self-correct as you practice
    Remember this acronym, D.O.C. Do. Obeserve. Correct. Observe how the indivudual who understands the skill you're learning, try to do the skill, and self-correct as often as possible. It's easy to teach a newbie a golf swing but It's hard to teach a pro to unlearn a habit-formed golf swing.

  6. Remove barriers to practice
    Find what will distract you (and you know what it is) and remove it. If you're xbox is keeping you from learning that skill you want to acheive.

  7. Commit at least 20 hours of focused deliberate practice
    10,000 hour rule? Josh Kaufman's TED talk says otherwise.  

  8. Read Books
    Most of the goldent nuggets of knowledge are found today only in books. Did you know the late Sam Walton, the Founder of Wal-mart that has "The Richest Family in the World" wrote a book of his entire life story in creating the most successful retail outlet in the world in only a $6 book entitled "Made in America?" 

  9. Company Library/Resources
    The office has online and/or offline resources that are readily there to be accessed when the time is appropriate. Learn more about your company or about your dealings with other firms and obtain the knowledge that can make your public speaking skills or corresponding skills better to gain larger shares of the marketplace.

  10. Youtube
    Although most people use YouTube as a site for music videos, funny clips, and TV shows, YouTube is a great platform to learn new skills. YouTube EDU has a selection of high-quality educational videos, from channels such as YaleCourses, Stanford Business School, and Gresham College and Kahn Academy.

  11. Webinars/Webcasts
    There are webinars and webcasts of about any topic you might consider learning about online. Look through all the possibilities the world has to offer. Warren Buffet, for example, has an annual webinar for stockholders that care to be educated on learning how to better their financial skills.

  12. Volunteering
    Voluntarily using you time to serve in a capcity you don't usually invest time in allows you to explore the unventured part of your life that could unlock potential skills inside of you that you may not have even thought of before. An article entitled "20 Skills You Learn from Volunteering" might prod you in the right direction.

  13. Explore The Internet

    You have easy access to training material on internet. Have you ever tried using it? Use online learning resources to learn on your own terms. Benefit from online training library and online book services and research all the skill possibilities you can start learning right now.

  14. Continuing Education Courses
    These classes can be found often through many universities within the country. These are courses that aren't typically college credit classes but offer specific classes that offer skill developement in numerous areas. Classes such as photography, line dancing, welding, or horsemanship for example.

  15. Drop in on College Courses
    The late Steve Jobs in his Stanford commencement speech says it all, "The minute I dropped out [of college] I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting... Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this...None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts."

  16. Develop relationships with people interested in the same skill
    "You're only as good as who you hang out with" a wiseman once said. Be with the people that help you achieve your goals and increase your desired skills. If you want to be a top tier Olympic athlete, to succeed you will end up hanging out with other potential olympic athletes. Surround yourself with smart people, goal-oriented people, and dedicated people who help you develop your skills.

  17. Find a Mentor
    Millionaire investor Tai Lopez talks about the importance of mentors in his TED talk. "Mentors, your ability to copy, is the single biggest predictor for the success you will have in life...Albert Einstein had a mentor... Jay-Z the rapper had a mentor.. Oprah Winfrey said she had two mentors. Ghandi had a mentor. Alexander the Great had Aristotle. Bill Gates had Paul Allen. Warren Buffet had Benjamin Smith. There's something here most of us have missed out on."

  18. Learn during workouts

    Prop up your gadget and watch or listen to a course while sweating it out on a stationary bike or treadmill. You can also involve and engage others in this process.

  19. Utilize the weekends

    Find time during weekends and holidays for professional growth. The new learning will provide you enough inspiration for Monday.

  20. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
    Specific. Measureable. Attainable. Reasonable. Timely.

  21. Set a schedule
    Sit down, take out your calendar, and do the math. When exactly are you going to practice? What are you going to give up, reschedule, or stop doing to make the time

  22. Record your progress
    If you don't keep track of your efforts you will likley give up. Progress takes time and results are never instantaneous.

  23. Follow a model
    Research about the people that are the best in whatever skill you're looking into and take notes from them. You can keep tabs and updates about their lives and seek the wisdom that they've gained from all their experiences.

  24. Seek out Feedback
    Whether you're public speaking or learning how to draw, feedback from others is important for skill developement. If several people are telling you your hands are in your pockets and you say the word "umm" alot during your presentations chances are they are correct. Take the feedback and apply it to yourself and repeat.

  25. Teach Others
    "By learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn."
    -Latin Proverb

    Ask any teacher and they will tell you they learn an unbelievable amount of things by teaching others. If you are beyond beginner stages in a skill, take the time to help and teach others who are just beginning and you will be astounded at the things they can teach you.

  26. Reward Yourself
    What good is doing all the work without receiving an award? If you have just learned to how to sew, then your reward may be some new apparel. Or if you just got a college degree and got a new career then reward yourself and take that trip you've always wanted to go on. You deserve it. "Life is ment to be enjoyed, not endured." -Anthony J. D'Angelo

  27. Deconstruct the skill to avoid being too overwhelmed to practice efficiently
    Learn the skill one step at a time. You don't learn how to paint a masterpiece the first day of class. You likely will learn the variety of mediums and instruments used to create artwork. Start learning the fundamentals of what you need to know and work your way up the pyramid. 

  28. Stay motivated
    Post pictures of what you want on your bathroom mirror. Keep some sort of progress report to show what you've accomplished. Lean on those for moral support to help you maintain sight of why you started in the first place.

  29. Download an App
    There are over 100,000 apps out there and there is quite the litter to choose from when it comes to aiding you in your skills journey. Duolingo for example helps you learn languages. MyFitnessPal helps you maintain your nutrition so you can stay healthy and active. Lumosity helps to train your brain by enhancing performance, speed, and memory. Utilize these readily-available cyber tools into helping you learn a new skill.

  30. Take a Class
    There are plenty of classes that are available whther they be online or offline that can allow you to learn something new. Consider doing a cooking class and bringing a date or a ceramic painting class so you can make a memorable dinner piece.

  31. Join a group
    There is power in numbers. By joining a book club, getting involved with the community, or joining a band it creates an enjoyable atmosphere that will help you learn.

  32. Subscribe to educational resources
    Magazines like Men's Fitness, National Geographic, or Education Business magazine are strong sources that can provide you with tools of the trade on an expert level.

  33. Attend educational skill building events
    T.E.D. events for example, are one of the most motivating and thought-provoking events a human being can attend. These are conferences that are overflowing with indivudals who have great ideas, experiences, and outlooks on skill developement. Consider investing in yourself and attending these organizations to learn the skills that will enhance your quality of living.
  34. In Your Sleep

    Apps like Digipill are the 21st century equivalent of the overnight hypnosis tapes many a sitcom mocked in the 1990s. Digipill “teaches” skills like self-discipline, creativity, irresistibility, and motivation while you sleep.

  35. Listen to Podcasts
    Learn a new technology online or listen to a podcast to solve office problems. Podcasts can be found on nearly any topic and since the "Podcast" App is built in on all Apple devices it makes it more accessible than ever before.

  36. Focus on Process not the product
    When we focus on the actual process of practicing a new skill or project, a paradox occurs, says Sterner. “When you focus on the process, the desired product takes care of itself with fluid ease. When you focus on the product, you immediately begin to fight yourself and experience boredom, restlessness, frustration and impatience with the process.”

  37. Interning 
    You can't teach experience. By exposing yourself to the real world of business administration you gain the experiences that can never be simply taught. Supervised training in the office is without question the best way to learn about all the elements of business and the skills thereof that are critical to success in the workplace.

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