Kristjan Vingel

Until you know this one thing, don't start to learn anything

January 30, 2021

wolfgang

My dear reader, I want to give you a little tip to be a more effective learner. Maybe you already know it, but in case you don't - here it is.

Don't begin learning anything new - either a technique, technology, etc. - before you understand why you're learning it.

What do I mean by that is that it's crucial to know what problem is this new thing solving. How does it make your life easier or better? In other words, what is the problem, and how does this thing solve it?

I once spent almost an entire day trying to learn something that I heard I supposedly need to know but wasn't really sure about it. I jumped right into some tutorial without clearing up the previous questions. By the end of I learned nothing about this thing. I wasted a lot of time.

Trying to understand how something works without understanding what it is even used for is doomed from the start.

It just doesn't click. It's not relatable. It's just too abstract for our brains to create certain connections.

So from now on, I always try to read a little and have a general overview of what I'm going to learn and what problem does it solve for me - e.g., "why do I need it?". Maybe I don't even need it and can therefore save a lot of time and frustration

K.

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Kristjan Vingel