In a startup environment, staying ahead of the curve is essential for success. But adapting to changing circumstances, trends, and technologies can be a challenge.
The learning process itself can be difficult because of many factors, including the lack of time, unfamiliarity with new topics, and difficulty in retaining knowledge. Even if you successfully dedicate time to learn on your own, it may still not be enough to guarantee successful results. To make sure that the newly gained knowledge is kept and put into practice, you must implement.
To help you implement your learning skills on the fast track, here are three key things you need to have in place before diving into a new learning journey. Use these tips in your startup environment to stay up-to-date in advancing tech and fast growth.
1. You Need Direction#
One way to improve clarity and reduce overwhelm when exploring a new field is to create a learning plan. This should include gathering as much information as possible, while also providing structure and focus. Begin by researching the topic in depth, looking for reputable sources of information and noting down any useful facts or revelations. Check multiple sources so that you can cross-reference any potential biases or inaccuracies. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the original task if it helps you gain further insight into the subject.
Once you have gathered some background knowledge, start setting goals for yourself. If possible, try breaking the larger project down into smaller tasks with clear steps and objectives in order to stay on track and measure your progress more easily. Seek an expert mentor who can provide guidance on your learning journey and offer feedback on your work. Set up regular meetings with an accountability partner who will help keep you motivated throughout the process. Finally, take regular breaks from your studies—this not only helps reduce stress but also allows time for reflection and self-evaluation, which can boost productivity in the long run.
2. You Don’t Split Learning and Working Time#
Finding the right sources for learning is a major accomplishment, but what comes after? You’ve gathered all this knowledge and now you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s easy to jump into our performance zone - where we focus on immediate results – without taking time out of our day to nurture growth. But dedicating yourself to your development can open up tremendous opportunities in life; it requires commitment and determination! Following Eduardo Briceño’s TED Talk insight, divide today between honing your skill set while also nurturing novel ideas that will set you up for success long-term. Balance these two paths together so both short-term successes AND future potential are achieved!
It is important to differentiate between your learning and performing phase. When you are engaging in deliberate practice, focus on mastering specific tasks and breaking them down into smaller components. This will help you identify what areas you need to work on specifically, as well as give you feedback while practicing. It is beneficial to push yourself outside of your comfort zone when engaging in deliberate practice; this will create more challenges that can allow for substantial improvement.
As an example, a politician who wants to improve their speech and persuasion skills should dedicate time to watch speeches by other influential figures and learn about the basics of acting. Through this process, the politician can become more familiar with the principles of effective persuasion through public speaking and incorporate them into their own speeches. Understanding the fundamentals of acting can teach the politician how to better use their body language and facial expressions in order to get their message across during speeches. With consistent practice, these politicians will refine their skill set even further so that they can have a maximum impact with their words and actions during speeches.
3. You Don’t Practice Recall#
The Forgetting Curve developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus is the scientific principle that has been used to explain why we forget information. According to this study, our memories weaken 10 minutes after original learning and we can forget up to 50% of what we learn after an hour. As time progresses, more information slips away and eventually, we can forget 80% of what we were taught after a month.
Rather than simply accepting that it’s now impossible to remember something you once knew, there is something else you can do; you can take action in order to improve your memory retention. One way of doing so is by recording and tracking down what you are learning as soon as possible and document it neatly. Achieving this will allow for better recall should you be required to answer questions related to that knowledge at a later stage. Soon after the original learning is when our memories are strongest and therefore, reviewing it soon afterwards can help retain more knowledge overall. This makes it easier for us to level up our skills and knowledge base in any area.
So, how do we learn AND get results?#
Everyone experiences similar struggles for working and learning. We can feel overwhelmed by the lack of guidance, which can lead us to achieve our goals without having a proper plan or strategy. We may also forget things we have previously learned.
To combat these challenges, there are certain principles one can employ to learn better while they work.
Start with direction. Take the plunge into a new field with confidence by setting yourself up for success. Get to know your customers and their needs, figure out how you can meet them in unique ways, then develop strategies and hypotheses that will bring fresh products right to their doorsteps!
Process break down. Before you jump into the action, you need to break down your goals and milestones to create a plan. Remember to keep your limitations and resources in mind as you create your strategy. Lean into the journey and then take action.
Keep track of your learning. Last but not least, keep track of your learning. By following your wins and celebrating your milestones, you will see exactly how you are growing and how simple it can be to learn and grow.
Startups are a blessing when it comes to learning! You get to work in a lively environment with dynamic changes. You can learn new things while you work.
So remember to create direction, confirm a process and then keep track of all the amazing learning you are going to accomplish.