Want to learn a cool and useful skill? In this article, I’ll share with you 4 main steps for efficiently learning any skill. Let’s check them out!
In 5 months I went from barely knowing how to open photoshop to:
All on my own time, at my own pace, while having a full time job, a family, and without any school loans to pay off afterwards. I could have done it in half the time if I worked harder, and so can you.
I went from this…
Even if you are learning a tangible skill, i.e. a musical instrument, glassblowing, carpentry, etc. and won’t be spending most of your time on a computer, such as with music production, coding, or graphic design, these are still valuable steps that will decrease the learning curve.
Here is my list for expedited learning in the creative realms.
Treat your computer the same way you would treat your mind. If it’s cluttered and disorganized then you will have an infinitely harder time recalling/retaining information, and efficiently completely tasks.
Clean up your computer desktop
– No misplaced files, everything goes in a folder with a category name (preferably that has subfolders).
Download these file-sharing and note-taking apps
The reason I chose these apps in particular is because the information is stored in the cloudyou will be able to access it from any device at anytime just by signing into your account)
Annotate the notes like the following, for what ever skill you’re trying to learn:
In Dropbox / Google Docs:
Write down your goals.
Be very specific – each goal should have branches of steps you need to take to accomplish it. The more specific you are in how you will accomplish a task the less time you will waste when performing it.
Learn something new every time you sit down to work.
Go through your ideas folder, find a piece of work you want to emulate, then find a tutorial on that technique (remember to log all of your tutorials and their cliff notes).
Each project has to have a purpose!
When starting a project I make sure that it matches one of these 3 criteria…
Want someone to build your website but are strapped for cash? Ask yourself if they can benefit from your new skill, then offer them a trade. i.e. I will make custom music for your wives birthday video if you create my logo.
Do not look at your past work.
This tip is especially important for musicians & writers. It can be one of the biggest wasters of your time. When you sit down, don’t allow your self to go through your previous work until you’ve completed something new first.
Break large projects into 1/3rd’s.
If your main goal is to learn the most difficult guitar solo you can think of, start by…
Then try playing only 2 of the sections together, change it up, randomize the order, and once you are proficient in every random arrangement, give the entire solo a shot.
“You do and you do… and you make doodoo.”
Learning to finish a project and move on is the most efficient route to progression!
Make yourself accountable
Bottom line is, the higher the stakes, the more pressure you will have to work your hardest.
Self-taught graphic designer, accredited music composer/producer, forensic audio engineer and a former U.S. Marine. Lives, works and plays in Los Angeles.