It's pretty clear now that we should all constantly be evolving and learning— it's the entire premise on which Pinglr is based. However the question is not 'if you should learn' now but 'how and what you should learn, I'm sharing all of my knowledge on this that I've gained from self-learning, personal experiences, and building Pinglr.
Learn to have a 'T' knowledge structure
Confused? let me explain. If you think of your depth of knowledge in a particular subject on the Y-axis and the number of subjects or topics you know on the X-axis, with this in mind, 'T' shows that you have shallow or little knowledge in many areas and in-depth specialist knowledge in one.
Other graphs could be a '—', shallow knowledge in everything or 'I', expert knowledge in one.
Why does this matter?
As Steven Johnson explains in his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, significant innovations in history have come from the ideas that collide between people of different disciplines. When openly sharing your ideas in a 'coffeehouse' with all kinds of people, everyone will have a different take on it. These different approaches may not have come to the original inventor.
When you have knowledge of different disciplines yourself, you could have a metaphorical 'coffeehouse' in your head— giving you newer and better ideas. If it isn't even for newer ideas, cross-referencing between disciplines offers a better outcome, like a surgeon who knows about psychology can better understand and comply with the patient, leading to a better operational outcome. He goes significantly deeper into this and other methods of innovation but for the sake of the blog I've kept it short.
Secondly, when you know all the topics around a particular area which you (want) to specialize in, you can do anything in that field— at least to some level. Like I specialize in the business side of startups but knowing how to code or even use no-code tools now has saved me $1000s for watching a few videos.
How should you decide the exact topics to learn?
The first step is pretty simply assessing where you are on the 'T' is essential. If you are shallow
in everything or a '—', you should dive into the one subject that interests you the most and learn that till you're specialized.
If you're already specialized, what I would do is decide my learning capacity, how many subjects I want to take on at once, and divide the answer by 2. One half for topics that can directly help you like in my case— coding. One half for completely different fields to which your work isn't related
How to learn fast? 🏎️
Elon Musk's metaphorical tree
Think of each of the topics you're learning as a tree, if you're not strong in the fundamentals of it— or the trunk— the additional details, leaves, will have nothing to stick to.
From a memory standpoint, this makes sense as if you have nothing to associate additional details of a topic with, you will have no mental 'hooks', which will result in you forgetting what you've taken in.
Even with basic logic, it makes sense to learn this way— if you keep adding heavy furniture to a house with a weak floor, it'll collapse.
Crank up your leverage 💪
This means finding ways to increase the effectiveness of your minute spent on learning. How can you do this? Easy. Before you start learning do your research to find the best of the best resources and experts on the topic— this could be through videos, books, courses, etc. This is what Pinglr does for you.
Find 'breakthrough' content
This basically means that after the research come up with one or two resources which cover 80% of the topic or it's trunk, leaving you to only source the leaves. This is an optimal application of the 80/20 rule— spend 20% of time looking for the content that'll yield 80% of
Find what they're all saying
When you want to establish your trunk of knowledge without breakthrough content from someone you trust, go through different resources really quick briefly and pick up what they're all saying and are deriving upon, those things are the fundamentals that'll make you your trunk.
Why should you learn fast?
As I've mentioned in previous blogs, time is the one equalizer between all. No one has 25
hours or 20 hours, we all have the same 24 hours. The ability to learn fast is the way to compete with the best of the best, the richest of the richest. You understand and adapt quicker than everyone else, you'll be better off than everyone else as if displayed below
Humans have one up'd all other species because knowledge ( perhaps among other things) so what you learn and store, makes you. Taking 10 minutes to think about what and how you're learning, will save you hours.
I have personally been amazed at these techniques, and practiced them for a month or two, and forgotten all about them until now. That's not the way it should be used! I suggest you integrate any reflection time on learning or some kind of check-in into whatever system of productivity you use, so you don't forget about this in a month.