Once a person starts thinking on self-education, they find out it is difficult to make it effective. This text describes rules how to reach that.
Recommendations on Self-Learning
Learn by yourself? It sounds interesting and intriguing. Though, many people who come to a conclusion about knowledge they gained before is not enough or is not actual due to some reason, and who want to develop and learn something on their own, meet certain difficulties. To avoid them, they need to know how to organize their self-learning process in order to not waste their time in vain. Let’s see how to make one’s self-learning effective.
Setting Goals Up
In order to make self-learning process (or any other process as well) effective, you should determine why you exactly need it. What do you learn something new for? Will you be able to use new knowledge in practice? Where will you use it? What will you receive from it?
Create a list of fundamental questions. There can be five, ten, twenty of them. More means better. These questions will help you to know that your plans are not senseless. This is the way to look at the wanted result from several viewpoints.
Try answering in as detailed and concrete way as possible, lose nothing. Read them a couple of times; add something and keep an eye on them constantly. They can remind you about what you want to reach and motivate you to act further.
Creating the Plan
After you pass the previous stage, start thinking on a plan. The plan is to represent the strategy you will keep up to during your self-learning.
Try making a plan that way it could include even the smallest details. What instruments are you going to use while learning? If you plan to use books, what are they? Who is the author? Where can you find them? Will they be printed or digital ones? If those are audio-seminars or video-courses, where will you find them and what time do you plan to devote to them? Will you use other kinds of learning, such as facultative lessons, special courses, master-classes, coaching?
What useful internet-resources will you use? Keep in mind, that different lessons shouldn’t be mixed with each other: they need to follow one another. Otherwise, you can get lot in info, and the result of such learning is guaranteed to be low.
The plan is to be precisely written, to have time limits and temporary stages where you can estimate your progress. Additionally, all the key points of the plan need to correlate with the goal of your learning and to provide support for your progress. If something seems to be an obstacle, you should exclude it from your plan.
Time Management and Self-Discipline
This point is to be mentioned separately, though it is one of the main components of planning. When thinking about self-learning, it is very important to understand the fact that you are the one who manages your time, nobody will give you kicks. This means, your self-discipline is what matters.
It includes scheduling your day and a skill of making yourself do things that are to be done, without thinking about “serious” reasons to deny work till “later”. It can sound naive, but the most part of people can’t organize themselves once they start learning something on their own or go for a freelance job. There is a fault vision of “enough time”, and tasks get delayed Then it leads to sudden rush or even project failures. It is comfortable to use Eisenhower’s matrix to organize your time and to set priorities in your tasks: find some time to get familiar with it.
Determine precisely, how many hours per day (days per month) you will devote to self-learning. If you go for it in order to catch up with missed info or to increase your erudition level, then it is enough to find one to three hours per day. If your self-education is about getting higher qualification level, if you dare to become a specialist in a certain field, then you need to find much more time for learning. The point is, you’ve got to correlate it with your goals.
Additionally, you should have some learning materials with you in order to spend any free minute usefully. They can be: books, prints, e-book or tablet files. You can use them in a transport when the trip is going to be long, or while standing in queues: instead of counting sheep, you can learn a new chapter of the book or read an interesting article.
Self-Check and Self-Esteem
Considering the fact, that the whole process of self-education has to be focused on increasing your knowledge level and on effective realization of your plans, you need to track your progress systematically by holding various tests on self-check. You need to have a clear vision about whether the knowledge you get is useful or not, when and how you can use it, how well you understand subjects you learn. Dare to use new knowledge in practice of your everyday life.
Four points represented above are the basic ones, and the whole process of self-learning comes out from them. Yet there can be some additional recommendations which can influence your self-education positively.
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• Discuss newly received information with people around you. First, this can show how well you remembered new knowledge. Second, you can hear different viewpoints, this is useful as well. And third, good criticism will show you your weaknesses and point out what you need to work on.
• While having a self-education, try to separate yourself from the outer world. Any unnecessary thoughts distract you. So, when you learn something, forget about any troubles, don’t think about daily tasks and don’t follow your bad habits.
• In addition to studied material, try getting knowledge from any source that is available and interesting to you: books, movies, exhibitions, and interesting places. Find time to go in for sport. It is not obligatory to refer to your self-learning field, but it will make you more erudite personality.
• Work on yourself and your personal qualities: develop leadership skills, train your memory logic, reading skills. Increase your IQ, improve your communication quality. Work on diction, mimics, and gests and so on. Additionally, find some time to develop your inner life: meditate or have practice in any other spiritual techniques, get familiar with different philosophical schools. This will cause a positive effect not only on your self-education, but your life quality in general.
• Pay attention how good is the quality of your spent time and people you interact with: they need to support your personal growth. If you see people you communicate with to influence your learning negatively (they take your time, tell you won’t make it or you are busy with wrong things), then limit your interaction with them. Try not to do things that can cause negative consequences on your learning and your personal productivity: reject watching TV or spending hours online while having a process of self-education, don’t drink alcohol, don’t have unnecessary meetings and so on.
• Do steps (even the smallest ones) towards your goal every day. If you can’t spend 3 hours on self-learning, find at least 30 minutes. Only systematic and persistent actions will help you make it.
Keep up with these recommendations and plan your self-education process according to four main rules, and you can be sure you don’t waste your time in vain and the process of your self-learning will be as effective as possible.