How We Learn

How We Learn

As part of our “So You Want To Be A Scrum Master Book” we thought it would be good to include a short ditty from each of the authors on how we learn. We all have different styles and we all have different reasons for learning. How we learn is a chapter I contributed.

Here’s what I wrote. You can download the book, for free, from LeanPub.

There comes a time in your career when you realise that remaining relevant and employable is important. It’s now that many people start to take their self learning seriously.

Reading becomes deep studying. Watching, listening, attending, reading, observing, coaching, mentoring – all forms of studying and learning.

Studying leads to knowledge. Having knowledge can help you make better decisions, move faster and be more confident in yourself.

Here are some ideas I’ve gleaned over the years.

Read books that challenge your thinking

Read books on subjects that don’t appear related to your industry. You will soon see how they may relate.

Read books that you enjoy and resonate with. Put down books that are tough to read or boring. Life is too short and there are too many books to read.

Listen to Podcasts on commutes, journeys and trips.

Record every single idea that pops in to your head. It’s amazing how insightful these flashes of ideas and thoughts can be.

Learn to speed read.

Take the time after reading to collate your notes and ideas about the book. Then store them in a logical way that makes sense to you. It’s important to know where information is. But digesting that information and putting it in to action is knowledge. Knowledge is information in action.

Empty your cup. Sometimes we believe we know everything there is to know about a subject. We are always wrong when we believe this. Bruce Lee said to empty your cup so it can be filled with new knowledge – spot on.

Review your notes and learnings often. I use spaced repetition to return to my notes 1 month after making them. Do they still make sense? What else can I learn from them? What further insights can I glean.

Use 60 day’s proof. Write every note with the view of reading it again in 60 days. Will it still make sense even when the context is missing?

Stop learning and studying when you’re trying to create something. There comes a point when studying must end and creating must begin. Don’t let studying become the reason you procrastinate on creating your masterpieces.

Evernote is my tool of choice for learning. It stores everything. It’s my digital filing cabinet. It’s like a second brain.

You can download the book, for free, from LeanPub.