1 Concept to Make You a Better Learner [Part 2]

When to avoid the grind and learn more in the long term

Note from the author: This is Part 2/2 of a series that I started last Saturday. It’s a quick read and you’ll have no issue jumping there to read Part 1 real quick. See you when you get back.


Some skills like writing require daily practice.

But other skills require persistent focus. Then, rest. Then more persistent focus. Skills like networking, asking questions, or making internet friends.

In my experience, I can’t do these types of things on a daily basis. I get burnt out. I think the reason is that they’re so intimate, and require our soul to participate.

Networking is asking by giving.

Asking questions is giving by asking.

Making internet friends is the joyful song and dance of both!

These activities tap into your subconscious. They’re skills that are core to our being and are hard to practice.

But, as creators, we have to practice them because they’re crucial to our survival!

The creator doesn’t need to practice these things on a daily basis, rather, they can apply a type of practice called spacing. It’s a deliberate attempt NOT to practice. Practice for some time, rest for a longer period of time, then come back to practice.

What happens in the process is magical. Our subconscious downloads what we learned, finds out new ways to improve and then queues the information for when we return next. The neuroscience says that we move what we learned—the new information—from our short-term memory to our long-term memory. This increases the shelf-life of our learnings by a lot, even up to 250%!

You might say this is in conflict with what we know about learning: practice over and over and over in a short period of time, test our knowledge, and move on to the next lesson. Like the SAT or a History exam in high school.

And you’re right! That’s how we learned to learn.

But the real world isn’t suited for this type of learning. Our most useful skills, especially the professional ones, require years of practice. Skills like networking, asking questions, and making internet friends are infinite games that we should be playing for the rest of our lives.

If you’re an early creator, this is great news! Get started today and take pride in your rest.

Understand that creating is an infinite game.

Networking is how you increase your luck surface area.

Asking questions is how you find information that’s not free.

Making internet friends is how you connect with your fellow internet citizen.

Don’t worry about being good, just be.

Until tomorrow,
Jake


p.s. this post was inspired by one of my favorite books Range by David Epstein. It’s a deep dive into why generalists thrive in our specialized world. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks their weird mix of skills isn’t useful. Believe me and David, they are!