How To Learn Faster

by Mark Fisher

If you’re a long-time reader you know I’m pretty aggressive about my education.

BEHOLD.

*Cue the Majestic Trumpets of Angels”

In all honesty, I can’t think of anything more fun than learning. 

In fact, if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s this:

  • Mark Growing/ Learning = Mark Energized/ Happy
  • Mark Not Growing/ Learning = Mark Tired/ Depressed

Today I’m sharing a few quick hits about what I’m currently doing with my education so we can be excited, energized, and happy together.

1) When you read, constantly ask yourself how you can apply what you’re reading.

I am NOT a fast reader. 

I consume a fair amount of audiobooks on 1.5x speed. But I’m very intentional about using my audiobook time for things like biographies and social philosophy. While these books are very valuable to fertilize my brain, I’m usually not making tons of notes with potential action steps.

On the other hand, I usually choose books to physically read when I believe I’ll get action steps. To that end, I read pretty damn slowly. I may only read a paragraph at a time before my brain starts to wander off and pull on some mental thread. 

I don’t beat myself up about this. In fact, it’s kinda the point. 

I use my morning reading time for the expressed purpose of thinking about and working on my business. So I take my sweet ass time, all the while making notes of action steps to take based on what I’m reading.

PRO TIP: This means you should be transferring “To Do’s” into whatever you use to capture information (e.g. notebook, document on your computer, platform like Asana, etc.).

2) If your goal for learning is better business outcomes, divide your time between function-specific principles and industry-specific tactics.

(That sentence sounds fancy, but it’s a simple concept.)

Spend some of your time studying the principles of a business function. 

For instance, if you want to improve your marketing, read books like Influence and Storybrand that are expressly NOT industry specific. You may get brand new ideas that no one else in your space is applying. 

And it’s important to understand first principles when considering what actions to take.

Spend some of your time studying your industry and tactics

Look to model the most successful people in your field. Have regular conversations with your network and compare notes about what’s working. Go to conferences. Identify industry thought leaders and devour any free content they put out. Or pay them to get on the phone.

For instance, although much of my reading is not industry-specific, I listen to pretty much every episode of every fitness business podcast. If you’re in fitness, they’re an incredible fount of information about what’s working now. 

3) Make learning a daily habit.

While I certainly enjoy the occasional full day binge, as a rule, it’s best to learn bite-by-bite. Not only does it improve memory encoding, but from a sheer numbers perspective, you’ll be putting in more high quality hours.

Since I know my continued development is a mission critical activity, I personally do it first thing in the morning so it doesn’t get crowded out by the demands of my day.

If you’re struggling to do it consistently, consider using a habit tracker like the one I describe HERE. It will help nudge you to “do the right thing.”

What gets measured gets managed!

Want MOAR, MOAR, MOAR? For a deep dive into my personal system for learning, can check out my article on Becoming a Learning Machine HERE

Admittedly, it needs an update as my approach has evolved (again) over the past year. But you’ll still find useful stuff in that piece.

Go forth and kick a$$!

Mark

PS If you’re interested in upleveling your skills as a training gym owner…

If you want to find out EXACTLY what we’re doing these days at Mark Fisher Fitness…

Join us tomorrow and Saturday for Inside the Unicorn

Even if you can’t attend the whole thing live, you’ll score access to the recordings to watch at your own pace.

LEARN MORE

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