Mindstate Motivation Blog

How to Learn Something New in 5 Minutes

Ever hear the expression, at the drop of a hat?  As I understand it the exact origin of the expression is not known.  However, most etymologists place its origin in the 19th century U.S. and more specifically in the “Wild West.”

A hat was used frequently to signal the start of a contest of some sort.  To begin the competitive action a gentleman’s hat would be doffed or dropped and all hell would break loose, especially if it was a gun fight!

Bottom-line…the phrase has come to signify something happening quickly.

Fast-forwarding to the 21st Century, wouldn’t it be great if you could learn all you need to know at “the drop of a hat?”  I mean there is so much to grasp! It’s an overwhelming challenge to develop an understanding of technology and its applications just to name one area of necessary learning.

Or, how about learning how to use the DVR in your home entertainment system?  Do you get as frustrated as I do just trying to figure out how to record your favorite program?  Forget trying to learn how to easily switch from On Demand to Live TV using the remote!  ;<)

Here’s the bottom-line, if you are challenged to keep up with all you need to learn.  You probably can’t learn any of it at the drop of a hat!  The other point to make here is don’t try to learn it all at once!

Here’s what you can do to reduce your stress and begin the process.  Think in 5 minute increments for each topic about which you want or need to learn something new.  If you blocked an hour in your day for this learning exercise and followed the 5 minute increments idea, you could schedule 12 topics.

Take technology for example.  Schedule one 5 minute block in the hour to read something of interest in the online magazine, Wired.  Here’s a link to get an idea what you could learn.

Let’s say you want to learn something new about leadership.  Devote 5 minutes to just a couple of pages of your favorite book on the topic.  If you focus for the entire 5 minutes you will be amazed at how much you will learn.

Well, I could go on and on with examples but you get the idea.  The point in the above examples is to start by making a list of 12 topics you want to learn about.  Block the required hour in each day to devote to your 5 minutes of effort per topic.

Then…do it consistently!

In twelve days you will have spent an hour on each topic.  In a year you will have spent 30 hours, on each topic!

An unknown author said:  “It doesn’t matter what road you take, hill you climb, or path you’re on; you will always end up in the same place—learning.”

Add a comment below on what road you are taking to implement this 5 minute learning idea.


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