your growth plan
As with any project, if you don’t plan, you plan to fail. Start with a three-month written growth plan. Writing down obliges you to think clearly. Three months straight will keep you motivated for results. Create a table where the columns, from left to right, are Serial Number, Impact or Goal, Performance Measurement, Goal and Deadline, Quality, Input Actions, Resources Required, and Weekly Score. Let’s say the first need is to learn advanced Excel techniques. Then the effect could be that I can finish my work faster. Output Measurement – Use Excel unassisted, target successfully 90% of the time up to three months. Quality – straight from memory. Input actions – Invest three hours a week to learn from YouTube videos and implement them on current worksheets. Finally resources – accept help from colleagues. Maintain this chart and rate yourself on a scale of 10 each week. The chart keeps you on track to grow from a 0/10 to an 8 or 9 in three months.
Read for width
The five-hour rule was popularized by Michael Simmons, founder of Empact, who says that the most successful people spend their entire lives studying or practicing at least one hour a day or five hours a week. It starts with reading, a habit shared by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jack Ma, Elon Musk, and many self-made billionaires. Start small with 15 minutes a day, five minutes at a time. Start with a book – physical or electronic or even audio. Use waiting times, training times, commutes or a break to get started. Which topic you choose doesn’t matter at first. Soon you will read more books in a year than in the average person’s lifetime. This gives you a tremendous breadth of direct knowledge, including how your industry and job works, and indirect knowledge of how the world works that you can apply to your job. After a while you are miles ahead of the starting point. To speed up the process, learn to speed read.
Do for depth
Reading is pointless unless you take away something solid and build on what you already know. Stop to think when you read something interesting. What does it mean to you? Where does it fit with what you already know? How is this affecting your current role or career? How can you use it at work today? Then you find yourself forgetting what you’ve learned unless you write it down and use it. Suppose you are reading a book about an effective sales technique. Understand your notes and apply them to your next sales pitch. In subsequent calls, fix what didn’t work until it works. You are on the way to mastering a subject you didn’t know about until you read and applied it. To speed it up, experiment daily with several topics that you have read and understood.
In a busy routine, how can you take hours to study? Here you can access scientifically proven facts. Short, frequent bursts of learning are more effective than longer sessions done now and then. Start small with 5-10 minutes between breaks in your assignments. Extend it to 30-45 minutes if you can and make it a part of your routine. Mark a day to review material and notes for the past seven days. This helps lock it into long-term memory. Finally, sleep improves learning, so make sure your brain is rested between study sessions. When dealing with a difficult skill such as negotiation, practice different methods in different situations rather than repeating one. This speeds up the process of mastery.
Your student loan checklist must consider these 4 questions
Decision-making aid for students
For parents, saving for their children’s higher education is one of the most important goals that many consider when planning their finances. However, the poor parents are not to blame if they don’t reach the required corpus in the face of the massive and skyrocketing cost of education these days, even more so when the child wants to go abroad to pursue that dream.
Gen Z and Millennials are also becoming physically and financially independent and want to self-fund higher education, even if their parents have the means and resources. An education loan is a good option for many reasons, tax benefits, instilling financial discipline in young adults to name a few, but making the decision to take out a college loan is not an easy one. Family finances and other factors aside, here are 4 important questions that you may not have thought of at first but that you need to answer for yourself or your child as you take this important step as a borrower.
It’s easy to get excited about a new journey, but difficult to stay motivated long enough to complete it or make it a lifelong quest. How can you make fast learning an integral part of your life’s work, rewarding yourself with continuous rapid progress in your career? The first step is a memory system. Hang your learning objective on your desk or stick it on a wall or set it as wallpaper on your laptop or mobile phone. Set a calendar reminder for your daily study routine. Make sure you see your goals daily. Remind yourself why you are doing this each time and visualize the goal. Always start small and measure your progress. This keeps you from early exhaustion and gives you positive feedback to keep you stronger. Know what’s stopping you from achieving your goal and avoid those temptations – let me watch a video for 10 minutes and then I’ll read. Finally, get an accountability partner, either someone committed to the same journey as another student in your class, or someone who will keep you on your promises, like a family member or friend.
Studying for exams
This standalone method is the best choice for best exam results. Purchase mock question papers including previous tests. Solve one assignment per day in exam-style deadlines. Then only study the answers you didn’t know. Complete the entire questionnaire and then repeat the cycle three to five times. Study nothing else. Works best when you are committed.
This method results in maximum long-term learning and retention. Study on your own and then teach others who enjoy learning from you rather than working hard yourself. You will receive a structured processing of the topic, your memory will be strengthened and your learning difficulties will be ironed out by your questions. Teaching a group works better than teaching a group.
When starting a new subject or topic, first skim the material. Just look at the headings or chapters or the first few lines. How is the material structured? Why? What will you learn at each stage? How does it fit into the next subtopic? Draw or jot down the flow in a notebook. This speeds up subsequent learning.
To remember what you’ve learned during an exam, you need to take notes. Refer to the river you wrote. Make handwritten notes on each subtopic and break it down into numbered points and other subtopics. This can be formulas, drawings etc. For the pre-exam review, you have short notes stating that the subtopic has four items and 13 subitems.
5. 1 page visual
After you’ve taken notes for the entire exam syllabus, you need to condense everything onto one page. Divide the page into sections for chapters or topics. In each box, condense the numbered subtopics and their points into 1-3 words each in small handwriting. Now revise and repeat this sheet from memory. You are ready for the exam!
(The author is a career coach, mentor and author of Yoursortinghat.com.)