Month One: Learning How To Learn
This is my meta month!
To set myself up for success in my Year of Learning challenge, I want to start off by learning how to learn as effectively as possible.
Meta learning is such a lead domino for everything else I’ll be doing over the next 12 months. By exploring best practices in learning from day one, I’ll get SO MUCH MORE out of my efforts in the 11 months afterwards. Also, meta learning is arguably the most valuable life skill of all. Especially right here and now, in the information age, the knowledge economy, or whatever you want to call these glory days we’re trying to make sense of right now.
Starting with the end in mind, I’ve defined a few success criteria for my first month. What’s most important to me when defining success in The Year of Learning, is to make it fairly easy to win, so I can build momentum without becoming overwhelmed. I want to optimise for CONSISTENCY – the Year of Learning is a marathon, not a sprint (read more about this logic in my post about my rules and goals for the entire Year of Learning).
With that in mind, I’ve made a monstrous Excel spreadsheet to track just about everything over the next month. Objectives, key results, (vanity) metrics and extensive time tracking, all in the pursuit of The Perfect Scoreboard.
Just kidding, my success criteria for the first month are simply called “15 & 4”. That’s right, fifteen and four, that’s all I’m asking of myself. Let me explain:
1. Spend fifteen minutes per day to learn about learning
Nothing new here, just following my own rulebook. This will be particularly important in the first month, because I need to make this a new daily habit. Habits are hard, if only for the first month or so. Building up momentum in month one will be critically important when the next 11 months come knocking on my door.
2. Blog at least four times
Another habit that I want to cultivate is consistent blogging, so the first month will be the acid test of this. The whole blog thing serves two purposes, by the way: to help me clarify and structure my own thinking as I learn new skills, and to help YOU learn something new by sharing my Year of Learning recipe and its results.
That’s it. Keeping it simple, stupid!
Now, you might think that this seems too simplistic borderline banal. And that’s exactly the point. Knowing myself, I am aware that for me, complexity = trouble when cultivating new habits. It’s exponentially harder to follow through if I make the task at hand complex and intricate. That’s why I’m only tracking the essentials. Fifteen and four.
I’ve been researching resources very briefly, and here’s what I’m planning to kick things off with once the meta learning month starts:
- Learning how to learn by Barbara Oakley
- Learning how to be awesome at anything you do, including being a leader by Tasha Eurich
- First 20 hours – how to learn anything by Josh Kaufman
- The art of doing twice as much in half the time by Jeff Sutherland
- The psychology of self-motivationby Scott Geller
- After watching this, your brain will not be the same by Lara Boyd
- What if Schools Taught Us How to Learn by Jonathan Levi
- The magic that makes the brain learn by Kim Bevill
- The Four-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. Tim is my modern-day messiah, so I follow all his work religiously. The Four-Hour Chef is perfect for my meta learning month, so I’ll be picking it up from my bookshelf and giving it the time and attention it truly deserves.
- Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Tim again, really? This book just got out, and I’ve been reading it over the last week. It’s truly a treasure trove of tools and tactics for top performance across all kinds of fields, from chess to bodybuilding to entrepreneurship and everything in between. A compilation of priceless wisdom from Tim’s 200+ podcast guests, this book deserves more love and attention in the coming month.
- The first 20 hours by Josh Kaufman. This just looks like a fascinating read. Will be back with more info when it has been properly consumed and digested.
- Learning how to learn by Barbara Oakley.
- Speed Reading by Tony Buzan.
- Mind Mapping by Tony Buzan.
- Moonwalking with Einstein – the art and science of remembering everything by Joshua Foer.
- Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley.
That’s that for now. Stay tuned as I try to learn something very soon. You might learn something from that as well. Proper meta, I know.
And remember the most important numbers of the day.
Fifteen and four.