19 Jun Meta-learning: The art of learning how to learn
For someone who has a border line obsession with learning, I am a big Tim Ferris advocate! His work is dedicated to understanding greatness and turning it into a formula more people can follow. He does so by unpicking the methods and habits of top performers, trialling them himself and then distilling his findings into key takeaways that everyone can use and apply to their situations! I flipping love him!
I wanted to share this episode of his podcast for all those who have not yet come across Mr Ferriss or are yet to be convinced by what he brings to the table. For me, it highlights the essence of what Tim Ferriss is all about – learning how to learn! Whereas he usually interviews top performers and deconstructs what makes them great, this episode has him being interviewed and he shares his thoughts and experiences on accelerated learning – education, methods for effective learning, utilising mentors and so much more!
One of my key takeouts was his framework for accelerated learning, the process he calls DSSS:
~ Deconstruction – of a skill to be learned into manageable component parts. The first step aims to identify the elements that appear essential to producing the required results.
~ Selection – of the 20% of inputs that drive 80% of results. Using the Pareto Principle in the second step he attempts to identify the quality components of a skill that will produce the greatest result.
~ Sequencing – ie. whether learning a skill in something other than the obvious order might speed up the mastery. Once he has identified the 20% he believes will achieve the greatest result, he focuses on the optimal order of the process steps. He uses small testing pilots to generate comparison data; changing the sequence each time.
~ Stakes – which are necessary for motivation in the face of the temptation to quit! This step taps in to the human psychology and the role it plays in change. To address this, he adds an element of accountability. This may be a wager with himself to donate a predetermined amount to a charity if he doesn’t accomplish the results or maybe he’ll very publicly share his efforts hoping people watching will motivate him.
The episode is just over an hour but I promise it is worth the time investment…especially if you are a keeno learner and would like some insight and motivation from the best learner in the business! Download the podcast and listen to it when you are in the bath or maybe have a long journey to make!