6 Ways To Accelerate learning And Productivity (A Guide For College Students)

Tim FerrisTim Ferris is best known for having cracked the secrets of productivity through one of his  best selling books, “The four hour work week”. As a matter of fact he has also figured out the best way to learn and master things very fast.

For a very long time now, many people have been interested in the notion of rapid/fast learning eg mastering the Argentine Tango, the Yabusame, kickboxing etc. Through Tim Ferris’ approaches, you can also expect to master esoteric languages such as the Gaelic Irish as well as languages of different varieties  eg German, Spanish, mandarin etc.

Next important question is,"Are there any key principles which are applicable across domains?" Well, you will be glad to learn that there are. They include:

A. Material is always more important than the method.

For a long time now, many people looking to learn or acquire new knowledge have certainly over focused on the methodologies of learning and not on the quality of the materials being used to master. Just so you are aware, the most important thing in acquiring new knowledge is the materials and more specifically the sequence of the material. Take for example when learning Japanese,I came up with my very own approach to mastering the basics. This serves as proof that understanding the material is much more important than simply being familiar with the method.

B. Continuous association.

It involves the power of associative memorization. This form of association is not only restricted to self-expression in terms of speech but also on to physical activity. For instance, as a wrestler in high school, i focused on finding out how the best wrestling principles could be applied in tango. Just so you know, there are certain basic psychological principles which are applicable across board.  

C. Self-observation.

This is yet another very important thing as far as looking to achieve accelerated learning and productivity is concerned. Personally, it is something which I previously did absolutely none of right until i realized that it was extremely important. In tango for instance I recorded several lessons of my trainings. My point is when it came to tango; a fellow dancer would never satisfactorily describe to you how you look like dancing.

D. Research.

Always make it a point to go through various different resources. This is very important since it is the only way you will have a divergent view of issues you are learning about. Pay closest attention to subject matters that keep popping up from the various resources.  


E. Accessibility.

First off, get rid of any distractions. This is very important since it would make the learning process much easier for you. As a result you will be able to retain more new information in your long term memory which is usually the ultimate objective for learning anything new.


F. Pre-commit.

This can be achieved in a whole number of ways. The most common is following a 20 minute time slot for a whole month.

For a long time, I was fully under the impression that i was good at dancing right until i got the chance to look at myself.  The very first thing which i noticed was my posture was horrendous. Besides that, I also noticed that my knees were way further apart than necessary making me look extremely unattractive. Long story short, that is the moment I got to realize that I looked really bad. It also at the same time prompted me to start recording my sessions.

That aside, rapid learning approach seemingly calls for more focus on self-observation and analysis. Can just about anyone engage in this? Personally, I have to admit that I am good at holding a very unusual level of focus especially when time comes to master a new skill. Just so you know so can you. Many other people are able to do the exact same thing. As a matter of fact, I have come across people who went from being nobody's to taking over the Boston marathon in just a span of a few years though it required application of the same exact principle and same level of close analysis.

So are there limits to what anyone can learn using this technique?

There's definitely a genetic limit to what exactly anyone can achieve in a given field. For instance in swimming, a close look at the national swimming team would reveal that the higher the competition goes, the more homogenous the body types become. The same can be said for the finals since a look at the finalists usually reveals a pretty much similar looking body shape. And this is what would form the ultimate level reached in that particular field.

Has your approach to studying been influenced by findings in neuroscience and psychology?

Do you have any thoughts about the education in schools? Might you be having a few ideas on how best to further better education systems? Personally, I am of the idea that the education system's primary objective should always be to teach students how to learn and acquire new information and not necessarily how to master certain key subjects outright. In as much as the latter equally seems important you should know that the former is of paramount importance. This is because it would position the student to continuously and flawlessly acquire new knowledge and other key skills besides what is made available in the class room. Unfortunately for the education system, most of the problems it’s currently facing are more legal and political and not curriculum based.

If applied well, the above insights will significantly improve your productivity and hasten your personal mastery of basic concepts as well as grasp of other important information.