Learning To Learn [Efficient Learning]: The Techniques

Learning To Learn [Efficient Learning]: The Techniques


8 min read

Hello Fellow Codenewbies ๐Ÿ‘‹

The Techniques wraps The Principles, The Lies, The Pillars and The Science as the guide and roadmap to becoming an efficient learner.

โญ We can pick the techniques that work for us, that we can maintain.

The ๐Ÿ— icon is the takeaway note of each part.

The Techniques

Pomodoro Technique

The idea of Pomodoro technique:
๐Ÿ— 25 minutes of the focus mode, 5 minutes of the diffuse mode.

The Pomodoro technique is an excellent way to avoid procrastination.

๐Ÿ“ Side-note:
The course instructor's personal suggestion is to start with the hardest to the easiest task.

25 minutes on, 5 minutes off

Chunk The Subject

๐Ÿ— Divide and conquer
When we encounter a big problem, we break the problem into small chunks that we can tackle one by one. Small pieces can be stored in our long-term memory.

By repeating what we learned, at one point, we can combine chunks of ideas automatically without getting too focused and do the task in auto-pilot mode.

Spaced Repetition (Revisited)

It is about practicing a topic/skill repeatedly for a few days.

And it's also about not doing the same technique over and over again.
It's about making different approaches towards a topic/skill.
For example, one day we can test our knowledge by ourselves, on the other day teach somebody else about it, etc.

๐Ÿ— This technique is good for us to practice recalling information and retaining our knowledge.
One way is to write down what we have learned the day prior or create diagrams of the main concept.

Deliberate Practice (Revisited)

๐Ÿ— The idea of deliberate practice:

  • Avoid the easy stuff
  • Take on a challenging project

To do deliberate practice every day:

  • Write a period of undistracted focus.
    We can use the Pomodoro technique to reach this.
  • During the focus period, push ourselves to the edge of our ability, to be uncomfortable.
    Add one or more topic(s) to add the previous topic that we learned.
  • Always seek immediate feedback
    Ask a mentor or community or anyone with the knowledge if we have done things the right way or still need improvement.

During deliberate practice write the process and results down in a journal.

Create A Roadmap

๐Ÿ— The idea is to create a plan before we learn something to get us where we want to be.

We won't get too overwhelmed when we learn something by creating a plan.
We need this to make us feel good and not lose our intrinsic motivation.

When we create a roadmap, we want to focus on the most important topic, the goal we want to achieve, and the timeline.


๐Ÿ— The idea is to use different pictures and sessions to learn something (variety in learning).

Learn from different resources, and learn with multiple approaches instead of one. The book "Make It Stick" talks about the ideas of how to make learning stick in our brain.


๐Ÿ— A rigid mindset.

When people consider themselves no longer a beginner, they tend to resist or stop taking feedback from other people.

To solve this, we need to have the willingness to accept multiple perspectives and learn something new (integrative complexity).

Importance of Community

  • We can learn something new from others
  • We can get immediate feedback
  • Hold each other accountable

Habits (Revisited)

According to Charles Duhigg in his book "The Power of Habit", there are four things that we need to form a habit:

  1. Cue
    Something that triggers us to be in the habit (auto-pilot) mode.
    For example, put on gym clothes before exercising.
  2. Routine
    The routine of the habit.
  3. Reward
    Every habit should give us something that makes us feel good.
  4. Belief
    A habit has power because we believe it's good for us or makes us feel good.

๐Ÿ— Habit is an energy saver. So it is good to help us become efficient learners.

4 Laws of Behavior Change according to James Clear's book, "Atomic Habits":

  1. Obvious
    The habit has to be obvious.
    A way to do this is, for example, by setting a regular time to perform the habit.
  2. Easy
    It has to be easy for us to form a habit.
    For example, do exercise for 20 minutes instead of 1 hour per day.
  3. Attractive
    The goal of the habit has to be attractive to us.
  4. Satisfying
    Does the habit reward us? Would we feel good or get the benefits of the habit?

๐Ÿ— One method to form a habit: Don't break the chain!

How small it is, do little tasks every day and don't break the chain.

System vs. Goals

๐Ÿ— Goals are reasonable when we want to accomplish something within a day. But when we want to achieve something in a year or life, creating a system would be better.

A goal is a big picture of what we want to accomplish with a clear end.

Creating a system, such as learning for 1 hour in a day, is creating small chunks of goals that we can achieve and maintain in the long run.

The Power of The Senses

Imaginary helps us to retain knowledge.
And we need to use our visual memory to be able to picture ideas in our heads.

๐Ÿ— The way we can form strong neuron connections in our brain is by evoking as many senses as possible.
Adding an emotional element to our studies will strengthen the connection of neurons even more.

We can do this by:

  • Seek out new experiences outside learning to stimulate the brain.
  • Learn in places that stimulate the senses.
  • Create analogies in mind.
  • Handwriting our notes instead of typing.

Method of Loci

It's also known as memory palace.

Humans are really good at identifying 3D things, such as streets, places, etc., and connecting dots.

๐Ÿ— When we want to memorize something, try to visualize things as a place or street or something that we can imagine, give meaning to them, and create an ordered storyline that is memorable to us.
The funnier (or even crazier) the story, the more it becomes memorable.
This way, we can remember and connect the dots.

Here is an article to help us understand more about how to use the Method of Loci.
Or for audio-visual learners, this is a short video that explains how to use the Method of Loci.

Pareto Principle (Revisited)

20% of work activity leads to 80% of the desired result.

๐Ÿ— It teaches the idea of selection, do more by doing less.
Ask ourselves, "What are the critical skills to achieve the fastest result?".

The key is the importance to select what to learn is just as crucial as removing what not to learn.

Parkinson's Law

๐Ÿ— An idea that we are finishing a project based on the time given.
Usually, the longer the deadline of a goal, the more we procrastinate until the deadline is very close and end up cramming everything.

To avoid this, we can use the Pomodoro technique or create our own system and short goals (deadline) to finish the big goal quickly.

Deep Work

๐Ÿ— The idea is to work hard, get rid of obstacles, and get through the difficult skills that require hard work until it becomes second nature.

To do deep work:

  1. Have a dedicated space for study
  2. Set a deadline
  3. All power-ups are present (sleep well, be happy)
  4. Have an easy starting sequence to avoid procrastination and use the power of habit
  5. Deliberate practice. Have an intense focus and push our cognitive ability to the limit

Stakes And Rewards

๐Ÿ— The technique of rewards is to focus on small rewards.

We need to feel good in our learning period.
We can, for example, reward ourselves at the end of our study time.

๐Ÿ— And stakes are more about what happens if we fail to achieve the goal or system.

We can publicly announce our goals and keep those accountable to avoid feeling bad or embarrassed when we don't achieve them.

Concepts vs. Facts

Recollection vs. recognition.

Facts are easy to be googled.

Concepts are high-level topics stored in our brain to be recalled later on.

๐Ÿ— With concepts, we can find answers to "why," connect the dots and solve more complicated problems.

Test Yourself

๐Ÿ— Self-testing is very important.
Try to pause our learning here and there, make a note, summarize, test ourselves if we already understand a concept, which part is still a challenge to us, how to solve it, etc.

The First 20 Hours

๐Ÿ— We can be good enough in the first 20 hours by having an excellent strategy to learn efficiently.

Example of strategy that we will do the first 20 hours after we pick a topic to learn:

  • Create a learning roadmap
  • Design practice drills to test ourselves
  • Make sure to have a feedback system (from a mentor, community, etc.)
  • Breakdown the topic into several different chunks
  • Start with the most critical skill first
  • Make the learning as easy and as enjoyable as possible to avoid procrastination


So this is the last part of the Learning to Learn [Efficient Learning]: Zero to Mastery course.
I hope you can take the benefits from these articles to help you start to learn more efficiently.

I personally have done some of the techniques so far, but I still have more to improve.

How about you? ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thank you for reading! Last but not least, you can find me on Twitter. Let's connect! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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