Learning in Lockdown: Five ways to make learning easier

3 minutes

At the moment, some of us have more time on our hands. Whether it’s because the daily commute has been shortened to a short walk down the hallway, or because social distancing has us staying indoors in the evenings.

Using this extra time to learn a new hobby or skill is a really great way to maintain your confidence, self-worth and motivation. There’s also an element of calm which comes over you when you get in to a rhythm of doing something you enjoy and you’re good at. This is referred to by psychologists as ‘the flow’ – a state of complete immersion in an activity – and has been linked to feelings of positivity and being more in control of your emotions.

To learn something new takes time, enthusiasm  and commitment. Read these five tips to give you the best chance.

  1. Pick something you actually enjoy – Don’t feel pressurised to learn something that you’re not interested in, just because others think you should. You’re more likely to give up at the first hurdle. So, why not learn something you’ve always wanted to, but never quite found the time for. You’ll not only find that you feel happier while learning, but you’ll also learn things a lot quicker. 
  2. Be kind to yourself – Truly learning something new doesn’t happen overnight. Experts in their fields will tell you that it took a long time to get to where they are. Often there will be new things to learn about, in your chosen area. So don’t expect too much of yourself, set realistic goals and just enjoy the feeling of learning something new, however long it takes.
  3. Sharing is caring – Learning from others is a sure way to improve your own skills. Even at this time of isolation there are many ways that others can help you learn. Watch an online video tutorial, or join an online community where you can ask questions about your new skill. We’re all in this together. By asking for advice from others you can learn from their mistakes and even pick up some handy hints and tips along the way.
  4. Learn, do, check, repeat – This mantra can really help speed up your learning, and also help you remember more of what you’ve learnt. Simply take the time to read about what it is you want to learn, and then have a go! Once you’ve had your first try, check it over and look at ways to improve it. Then start the process all over again. Repetition is one of the key pillars of learning because it moves actions from our short term memory to our long-term memory, making sure that you remember your new skill for longer.
  5. Don’t run before you can walk - It’s easy to get excited about acquiring a new skill, especially if it’s something you’ve been dreaming of for a while. But, it’s important to spread out your learning. Not only will this help prevent you from becoming exhausted but studies have shown that spacing out your learning and taking regular breaks is more effective and healthier. 

So there you have it. Five ways to help you make the most of learning a new skill during this time. So, what new skill have you decided to learn?

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