Do your research – Schedule your time - Execute your plan-Review your results –Embed a selected Skill
Principle #1 – Metalearning – Draw a map first
Why: What is your personal motivation for wanting to learn this subject?
What: This can be simply done by taking a piece of paper and making three columns with the headings "Concepts", "Facts" and "Procedures"
How: Once you know the lay of the land a bit better, you can then start figuring out how you will learn what's required.
Principle #2 – Focus – Sharpen your knife
Carve out chunks of time where you can concentrate and focus on what you're trying to learn consistently well.
Principle #3 – Directness – Go straight ahead
Learn by doing the things you're trying to become good at. Don't trade hands-on experience for other more convenient alternatives
Principle #4 – Drill – Attack your weakest point
Break complex skills into their component parts and then be ruthless about improving your weakest points. Master the component parts and then reassemble them.
Principle #5 – Retrieval – Test to learn
Use the testing process to learn more as you go along. Always test yourself before you feel confident and push yourself to recall information, not just review it.
Principle #6 – Feedback – Don't dodge the punches
Outcome feedback is where you're told how well you're doing (pass/fail, A, B or C) but there is no detail about what you're doing better or worse. This feedback is easy to get but offers no clues on how and where to improve.
Informational feedback tells you what you're doing wrong but doesn't really tell you how to fix it. The reaction of an audience to a joke is informational Feedback.
Corrective feedback is the best kind of feedback to get. Here you're told not only what you're doing wrong but also how to fix it. This is the type of feedback a good coach, a trusted mentor, or an effective teacher will give.
Principle #7 – Retention – Don't fill a leaky bucket
Spaced Repetition: Space your learning rather than trying to cram – and have a system where you methodically revisit what you have learned and refresh it in your mind. Allow enough time to absorb what you're learning.
Embed what you learn into procedures – so as you follow your regular routines you're refreshing what you've learned. Touch typists start out memorizing the positions of keys on a keyboard but then get to the stage where they can type without looking down. Eventually they start thinking in words rather than individual letters. If you can procedure core skills, then you can pay more attention to what you want to learn rather than obsessing over the mechanics.
Do some overlearning – where you do additional practice even when you can do something perfectly. Overlearning key facts will enhance your ability to recall them in the future. Repeat what you want to learn and retain again and again. Try immersion in some micro-project that will use the core knowledge and skills you want to remember. Go one level higher on the skills ladder.
Mnemonics – translate what you want to remember into vivid images or maps. Many memory experts use this method to produce prodigious displays of remembering long sequences . This can, however, be a brittle memory tool because there is a lot of time invested up-front to develop detailed mental images. It can also take some time for ideas to be recalled this way.
Principle #8 – Intuition – Dig deep first, then build up
Play and explore to develop your intuition and work to understand what you learn. Don't resort to memorization tricks but get to know your subject deeply.
Take a blank piece of paper. At the top of it, write down the concept or the problem you're trying to understand.
Next write down how you would explain or convey that idea to someone who has never heard of it before.
If you're solving a problem, write down your solution and detail why that solution makes sense to you.
If you look at your solution and realize it does not provide a clear answer, go back to your textbook and study some more until you have this.
Principle #9 – Experiment – Explore outside your comfort zone
Great learning is an ongoing act of constant experimentation
You've got to experiment with new learning methods,materials, and resources. Find new ways to expand your skills and competencies in your field.
You've got to experiment with different techniques in your field. Find your strengths.
You've got to experiment with different styles, and eventually come up with your own signature style.
I also asked myself what do I want to achieve:
I have done and studied Startup School and Pioneer as well as read and follow a bunch of blogs (
, Steve Blank) on the what it takes to succeed at startups and I learned that there were 2 ways to increase my chances of success:
First, setting up the game- I noticed that there was something they all recommended doing was creating structure at a weekly and monthly cadence (what I now call Startup Gym). Do everything that is required to get to Product Market Fit(this is
) This is the habits and discipline I had to cultivate in myself to be able to both be an A player but also to develop metagame, in other words self-distance thereby enabling me to see myself playing the game (I call this Founder Gym).
“Start Up Gym” requires:
Explicating a Mission (OKRs/ KPI’s over quarter)
Metrics (Defining what you will measure/track)
Talking to Users/ Building things people love
Weekly goals/ progress tracking
Accountability mechanisms (people you email, publicly posting progress)
Community (Co Founders/ having people to talk to/ brainstorm with/ get excited about stuff with/ learn from)
Once you have set up your startup gym + founder gym it’s time to get to work and learn and do almost at the same time. I try to anticipate what my next moves will be so that I can give myself a little time to “study” before learning in action. Ideally I want to be in drill or spaced repetition mode when the opportunity arises with my startup that I can actively learn/do. *This means that some of the “Ultra Learning steps” have gaps between principals 2- and the rest.
My map is non-linear and I kind of loop between the phases but they are useful compartments that make sense to me/ how I have organised them. I envision these as more “nested” and “networked” concepts that one visits and revisits to “mastering” product/market fit.