Self-learning might be tough sometimes. If you've ever tried to learn a language or skill on your own, you know how hard it can be to organize yourself sometimes. Self-education is an attractive idea but, alas, it does not work for everyone. How can you become one of these lucky ones and turn into a genius of self-education?
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the art of self-education and share secrets of how to start learning and not give up halfway.
Self-education is a broad concept. In short, it is any activity aimed at developing some skills and knowledge. Visiting museums, exhibitions, going to the cinema - everything helps us to develop, and therefore refers to self-education. So don't think of it as something boring and dull. Not only can the result bring pleasure, but also the process of self-education. The only question is what methods and techniques to use.
The now-legendary article The Making of an Expert, published in 2007 in the Harvard Business Review, provides an overview of the three main scientifically established factors that will help you become an outstanding expert in a particular field.
Invest time and effort into mindfully practicing a new skill or ability. Set specific goals for each practice session and analyze your results to continually improve.
Find the best mentors:
Seek out experienced teachers and mentors at every stage of your learning process, from local experts to international specialists. Ultimately, aim to become your own best teacher and mentor.
Surround yourself with high-performing individuals: A supportive environment can make all the difference. Seek out like-minded individuals who challenge and inspire you to be your best. These strategies aren't just for prodigies - even Mozart had a supportive family and access to experienced mentors who fostered his talent. With deliberate practice, mentorship, and a supportive community, anyone can become an outstanding expert in their field.
1. Set a goal
As they say, I see the goal - I see no obstacles. Turn self-education from an abstract concept into a concrete task. Let's say you've got the idea to learn Korean. Set yourself a goal - to reach the Elementary level in six months. Even cooler is to schedule an exam or any other test of the acquired skill. That way, the result is visible.
2. Don't lose motivation
In self-study, the main thing is not to quit. There are situations when you are well motivated from the outside. For example, a salary increase for developing a touch typing skill or the need to obtain a C1 for admission abroad. In this case, motivation is always with you. However, she often packs up and leaves without saying goodbye. Constantly remind yourself why you took this course or language study. And be sure to reward yourself for your success. Passed the thematic block - ate a cake. And never compare yourself to others. It kills motivation. There will always be people who do something faster and better than you. The only person to compare yourself to is you from the past.
3. Make a schedule
Try to structure your classes. If you study on an online platform, then the schedule is already made for you. But you still need to decide how to manage your time: when to listen to lectures and complete assignments. For those who study on their own, proper time management and the ability to distribute tasks is a must-have.
4. Allow yourself to be lazy
Don't be too hard on yourself. Tired of working? Take a break. If you miss a class, don't worry, make up later. You can start the course as many times as you like, no one will scold you for it.
5. Create the right environment
It doesn't have to be in an apartment. You can do it in a cafe, park or on the street. The main thing is convenience. There are people for whom background noise only helps them concentrate. Also, be sure to decorate the space around you in a way that you like. Add greenery, flowers, hang nice-looking images, or motivating phrases. Try listening to background music for study or creativity.
6. Use different sources
Don't limit yourself to one resource. There is such a variety of information on the Internet. The main goal is to find it useful and relevant. Have you taken a graphic design course? Why not supplement it with reading books on the topic or watching educational videos on YouTube. And they don't have to be theoretical. You can watch interviews or success stories of famous designers to add motivation.
7. Choose the right methods
Each person has their own approach to learning. Someone is more diligent and can work for several hours, others need to rest every twenty minutes. One is easier to practice, the other theory. Customize your workflow based on your own preferences. Let's say your friend learned English by ear while watching TV shows, but you can't do it. This is fine. So you need a different method of learning a language. Ideally, you should combine different techniques and use them in a complex way, but in any case, the one that is most understandable and most pleasant to you should prevail.
8. Look for feedback
With self-study, there is no one to check you. There is a risk of making a mistake and thinking that you are doing poorly or, on the contrary, excellent when you are not. With online courses, it is somewhat easier because there are regular checks and comments from the teacher. If you are studying alone, look for an inspector. Critical assessment from the outside is not always pleasant, but it is useful.
9. Ask questions
Don't be afraid to be curious. Feel free to ask questions or go searching the internet. It would seem a trifle, but it is precisely such trifles that enrich our horizons. And this is also one of the forms of self-education.
10. Don't be afraid of mistakes
They happen and it's natural. Treat mistakes as something positive. After all, they show what you should pay attention to in order to become better.
As a university student, there's no shortage of resources available for learning. From online courses to books, there's plenty of knowledge to be gained. However, the challenge often lies in motivating yourself to actually complete the material you've been eyeing for months. Luckily, there are three simple but proven tips you can follow to help you succeed.
First, try breaking up your studying into small, regular sessions. Instead of trying to cram everything in on the weekends, dedicate a half-hour each day to your studies. This approach will give you a sense of quick success, which can motivate you to keep going.
Second, establish a routine for yourself. Studying at the same time and in the same place every day will help you develop a habit, making it easier to stick to your schedule.
Finally, create social pressure to motivate yourself. Unlike traditional education, studying on your own means there's no one to hold you accountable if you don't follow through. To combat this, share your plans with your friends, join a study group, or use social media to document your progress.
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