Self-education is extremely important as it is a perfect tool to learn new skills and continue with self-development. Many people think that to learn something you need to attend an educational institution, but it is not always the case. During our lives, we learn new things and skills every day, and one can hugely benefit from self-education.
First of all, you can grow as professional if you broaden up the knowledge that you have. It is also advantageous for those who want to learn something completely new, like a foreign language or how to write articles. The great news is - it is very simple, and there are many convenient ways to conduct self-education. So what are the basics to start with?
Define what kind of skill it is necessary to learn and motivate yourself. You can either visualize how the result will be implied in your everyday life or define how it will be beneficial for your future achievements. It is crucial to remember that self-education takes a lot of effort, motivation, and responsibility. There will be times of discouragement and disappointment, but it is important to see your goal as you are your own teacher, tutor, and examination. Here are easy tips that make self-education comfortable and efficient.
1. Set your goals
Learning is a constant process – the more we know, the more we want to learn. Therefore, it is essential to set a specific goal that will be an ending result for the process. The most common factor of discouragement is that it is not obvious where to stop, especially when it comes to such things as learning languages. It is important to define what you want to achieve to know the endpoint. If you are learning a complex of skills, divide them into courses so that you have several points to work to. For instance, you can set several goals and search for courses online or books you are willing to read.
2. Make a schedule
Binge studying is not only harmful from the health perspective; it is also inefficient when it comes to learning. It is much more effective to learn reputedly for short amount of times than to spend 8 hours per month on reading. Make a convenient schedule that corresponds with your lifestyle, for example, you can learn for half an hour or an hour a day.
3. Prepare a studying place
It is easier to study when you have a designated area that motivates you to continue. Prepare a table, comfortable chair, and notebooks with pens. The corresponding surrounding prepares your brain and body to work and makes it easy to concentrate. When you are ready to start learning session, turn off all the distractions, such as phone or TV, you need to pay attention to the information you are processing in the fullest. Don’t study at your bed or resting area as it can damage your sleep and learning process as well. Yes, there is no classroom when it comes to self-education, but the environment is crucial when it comes to concentration.
4. Benefit from all information sources
Thanks to the Internet, you have access to the biggest information database in the world. There are many books and study courses that can be downloaded completely free. There are also studying communities, apps, and programs that you can benefit from, starting from YouTube tutorials and lectures, up to online courses provided by top universities. Access to any type of information has never been as easy as it is today. However, it is also essential to remember about public libraries, where you can find a great number of scientifically relevant sources. It is also advantageous for those who prefer reading an actual book to the digital one. You can probably visit some public lectures in your city for a reasonable price or even for free. Conduct research on the materials and possibilities you have in regard to the skill you are studying.
5. Take notes
Writing down and taking notes helps us to remember information and underline the most important aspects. That’s why when you are working with the source it is crucial to take notes. You can also use them to refresh knowledge in your head, which is also necessary. Before you start to work on something new, reread your notes to revise what you’ve already learned. When working with a source, highlight the most important information so that you can easily find it afterward. It all helps to analyze what you are processing and be aware of the key points of a particular source.
6. Test yourself
Another essential part of learning is an examination, and it is important even in self-education. You can either prepare a set of question on your own; however, it might be more effective to use online tests to see what you really know. They help to define the gaps in the current knowledge so that you can work on them further. It is also important to be ready to implement theoretical knowledge in the real-life case-solving, whether it is Math or Literature you are studying. For example, you can write articles, essays or other types of academic works to prove your expertise. Start a blog and publish them there in order to attract the interested community. It can be the start of an exciting scientific debate.
7. Critical thinking
Don’t take any information as a complete truth because science is evolving and you need to think critically. When you learn something, it is beneficial to find counterarguments to the existing knowledge. It will make your understanding of an issue deeper and help to be more objective about it.
8. Join the community
Knowledge is to be shared and is to be learned in a community. Use social media or other ways of communication to find people that are also interested in this field of science. Now you can learn together, share thought and opinions. You can also benefit from talking to experts in the field if it is possible to communicate with them.
Don’t forget about the pragmatic purpose of education – you are learning a skill to use it, that’s why you need to practice it all the time. Practice is the major way to train yourself and make any skill almost automatic. If you learn a foreign language, watch videos, movies or TV shows in this language, talk to native speakers, write articles in it. Find a way to put your skills to practice; it is the most efficient way to memorize what you’ve learned.
Self-education can change your life, boost your productivity and help with a carrier. Don’t get discouraged with mistakes; view them as a part of learning, because they are also advantageous. Be persistent in your studies and stay motivated as you are investing in your own life.