How to Make Learning as Easy as 1, 2, 3…

Math.  It’s the universally dreaded word that almost everyone wishes to banish from their vocabulary.  In fact, it’s the one subject that never fails to make our brain cramp up the very moment we crack open our textbooks.

But are such classes as statistics and calculus really as horrible as some people may make them out to be?  Or do some of us just simply lack the command necessary for understanding, and enjoying, mathematics (or any subject for that matter)?

Well, here’s a little secret that I am going to let you in on: all of us are capable of learning.  We just aren’t always aware of our hidden, intellectual capabilities.  Now, how do you go about tackling a new subject, you may ask?   Here are several pieces of advice that will make learning simple and… yes, enjoyable.

1. Connect your subject to something interesting. 

We usually work at our best whenever we are interested in what we are doing.  Well, guess what?  The same thing applies to learning.  Chances are, you probably won’t memorize your entire history book unless you are truly engrossed in politics, historical events, and government issues.

So what do you do if your school forces you to take a boring, history class against your will?  Simple!  Just connect the subject to something that you do find interesting.     Make a little story about you and your friends set in a prehistoric time if you need to.  The crazier the narrative, the better!

2. Work with another partner/mentor. 

Stuck on how to work out a logarithmic equation?  Just search for a tutor, or better yet, find a friend who is mathematically gifted.  Oftentimes, all it takes to learn something new is to have another human being explain the concept to us in a clear and concise manner.  Just don’t get off track and start gossiping about who wore what yesterday.

3. Learn how you learn. 

Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to record history lectures and replay them while you brush your teeth.  Or perhaps, you enjoy color-coding your notes and drawing diagrams to illustrate the steps to a biological process.  However you prefer to learn, take advantage of it.

Of course, however, it’s always best to combine different ways of learning in order to maximize your knowledge.  Don’t just depend on visual cues as your single source of information.  Try acting out a historical event that you read in your book, or teach your two year old sibling quantum physics.

Whatever you do, make an attempt to engage the information in every possible way that you can.

4. Practice!  Practice!  Practice!

We all know that practice makes perfect.  Yet sometimes, all we want to do after a long, tedious homework assignment is to just lay down on our bed and take a nice two-hour nap.  No wonder why we tend to forget how to do the same exact type of problem the very next day!

After you complete your work, don’t close your book just yet!  No matter how tempted you are to take a break in front of the TV, you need to dig out at least fifteen more minutes to practice.

Find a similar problem or two, and try to work them out by yourself without peeking at the examples from your book.  After you’re done, have another person check it for you to see if you are on the right track.   Sometimes, all we need is a little practice before we can truly begin to understand what we are trying to learn.

5. Consult your resources!

We probably don’t know this, but there is a whole world of resources and practice problems out there that are just waiting for us to utilize them.  What’s even better is that a lot of these resources don’t even cost us a single buck.  So next time you are stuck on a problem, go on Google and try to find a better explanation.  Look for math worksheets that will allow you to practice your skills.

Need a concise study guide in addition to your bland textbook?  Trying ordering one online!  I bet you there is a book on every subject that you can possibly think of.

Okay, so maybe you’re not a direct descendent of Einstein.  So?  It doesn’t mean that you are not intelligent, or capable of acquiring a new skill.  With a little hard work and self-confidence (as well as some smart resources), you can pretty much just learn about anything out there that you put your mind to!


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

7 Responses to How to Make Learning as Easy as 1, 2, 3…

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