Learning Quickly

I read this article from Sean Kim on Medium. It details different ways to apply the 80/20 rule in learning a new skill. As many people are still trying out their latest resolutions, hobbies, etc, I thought this would be a good topic.

The 80/20 rule is quite simply where 80% of results occur from 20% of effort.

Sean goes on to note that when learning the skill, first you must deconstruct it to show the subset “20%” that will give you the most access, or bang for your buck. Furthermore, focusing singularly on the task will highlight your likelihood for success. The example he gives is a computer with twenty tabs open performing slowly. If just one tab is open compared to the full twenty (or three I currently have open), the computer will perform much more quickly.

This computer is your brain. When you take the time to focus on one task, identifying the 20% of basic skills for the task, you’ll be able to learn much more effectively.

After identifying the skills you need to focus on to keep the hobby or interest going, you need to practice because the more practice the brain gets, the stronger the synapses (connections) in your brain become, and the more likely you are to develop it into a habit.

The hardest part of this whole situation is most likely keeping the course over time. Many people lose interest because things get repetitive or boring. I know this is a common problem I run into at the gym, which is why I introduce a new idea or increase the difficulty of my exercises after a certain amount of time.

In personal finance, I can see automating as much of your savings and investments as possible as being the 20%.

What is your 20% you need to focus on more?

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