How to teach yourself a new skill?
You’re here to teach yourself a new skill.
Netflix is boring for you. You have got your copy of your entertaining book: Business Wise. In fact, you are waiting for part two and three to arrive. In addition, you are keeping your eyes open for the glorious news Part Four, Five and the mini-series are released!
You are ready to spice up your day. By the way, you always wanted to learn a new skill. While you work from home, it would be a nice extra to make your day worthwhile.
You have decided to teach yourself a new skill. But how?
Here we have a guide to the 2020 skills that are in demand, that are useful and valuable. But how to learn a skill effectively, what to do and how?
Learning a new skill goes step by step. The more you do, the faster you can master it.
To teach yourself a new skill it’s mainly: soaking up a lot of information and doing it. Making it your own. Because the uniqueness is part of the value.
What gets you there? Dedication and productivity. But, we’re wasting time: let’s get to it!
Before you get started
There are a few things you must know before you dive in. You must:
- Know your goal
- Be clear to yourself: how much can I learn in a given timeframe?
- Ask: what do I need to learn first?
- Answer: what makes learning fun for me?
- Clarify: do I know what to do when I get discouraged, overwhelmed and stressed out?
- Figure out what increases and decreases your productivity
Who provides the tools?
Someone teaches you, in fact, you’ll need more than one person to teach you. While you are teaching yourself, you will rely on someone to provide you with the tools.
Everyone brings something unique, shows you what your skill is about from a different perspective.
You can ask yourself these questions to make sure you have found the right guide:
- Can they prove they can do it?
- What tools do they use that I (might) need?
- Can I understand it?
- Do they make the learning process fun?
- What are they telling me are the most important aspects for me to learn?
Check: reviews/reactions to find out whether you have found a guide that’s all-inclusive. And are they providing incorrect information? You want to know this for sure because otherwise, you can be learning the wrong thing. Or they take the joy away from you.
You can do, learn and achieve a lot in ten minutes, one hour. Do you know how much you do in one hour?
Examples of productivity:
- Writing the first draft of a book of 100.000 words in two months
- You can listen to 2 podcasts which are packed with information in 1 hour
- Dedicating 2 hours to your skill every day = 10-14 hours a week
Tip! Increase productivity by using apps on your phone and computer, to make sure you spend your time on your skill and not thinking about them.
Insight: thinking about your skill can be productive too when you are thinking about how to go about your skill, your goal and you are processing information.
Step by step – How do you learn a new skill?
What makes a skill a skill? Where is the value? You want to know this because you have goals when you can do it.
A skill is something you can do. While there is value in knowing how you can do it, there are more factors that make your skill valuable:
- Your own style: you have added uniqueness
- Provide examples of what you can do
- The ability to adapt yourself to the skill: with a higher demand for your skill, can you deliver?
Step One: Know yourself
You are passionate and we love it. It’s important, to be honest, and clear to yourself. I do recommend giving yourself a couple of goals: the ones that are realistic and one unrealistic.
Why? Because the realistic goal keeps you on track and the unrealistic goal keeps you pushing for more. These factors are important to make a masterplan for yourself:
How much time do I have a day to learn my new skill?
You can do a lot in one hour, you can soak up so much in five minutes. But, learning a new skill isn’t just learning by doing it.
You do it, but you also have to learn the knowledge, know-how behind it.
If you think: “I’ve had a bad day, I didn’t even get to work on my skill,” you can still make up for it. Watch a five-minute video.
All the information you soak up will show. And that, after all, will contribute to your skill.
How do I need and want to learn?
Tip! You don’t have to get a degree in order to be taken seriously.
It is even more powerful to have your skill validated by a professional in your industry who can vouch for you.
Need: What method is the most effective for you?
Want: What way is the most fun and encouraging for you?
You need to learn it effectively, but you don’t want to get discouraged or overwhelmed.
Part of the fun of teaching yourself a new skill is that you know what way is fun and encouraging.
What tools can I use to learn my skill?
Everybody learns differently. Some thrive at University, but others get incredibly successful by hard work, by themselves.
You are here because you will teach yourself a new skill, therefore think about the different ways to learn:
- Webinars (often free, therefore great when you are on a budget)
- YouTube tutorials and classes (free)
- Online University (paid, but you mostly get an accredited certificate)
- Books (paid)
- Podcasts (free, but oh so exciting!)
- A custom guide: teacher, online tutor (paid and free. Think about networking and connecting to learn more for free. But you can get more value if you learn on a weekly-basis from them).
- Practical tools: pre-made exercises (paid and free)
- Apps: there are numerous apps who can educate you and give you new insights on your skill (paid and free)
What are the most important and useful mini-skills I want and need to learn?
It’s important for you to learn your skill. Therefore, it’s crucial to think about what way will be effective.
But, in order to learn it, you need the fun too.
Need: Most effective
Want: The most fun
Start small. For example, when learning a new language you don’t start by learning a dialect, you learn to say hello first.
When you learn graphic design, you start with the basics, the tools you will use and watching people do it. Then you start with being able to make a line.
When you want to learn to write better, you write, read and watch people explain. You start small because that will spark you: “I already know how to do that!”
Tip! Create small tasks every day that keep growing your skill. Think about: listening to a podcast, watching a video or doing a simple task depending on your skill.
Tip! Connect with someone who can already do what you want to learn. They can inform you, give you tools, tips and keep you on track with your goals. In addition, you have more support.
It is said it takes 1000 hours to master a skill. But:
- How much can you learn in one hour?
- How productive can you be?
- What are you learning by doing?
- And what can you do once you have learnt it?
Roadmap of skills
- Making it part of your routine: daily or weekly
- Information: you familiarise yourself with your skill, tools, hacks, tips and insights from skill-professionals.
- Starting with small tasks
- Maintaining your routine
- Getting new insights
- Practising your skill continuously
Skill schedule: how do I plan to learn my skill? – For everyday use
- Listen to a podcast every day by a skilled professional
- Watch a webinar hosted by a skilled professional every week
- Watch a tutorial on YouTube by a skilled professional
- Read a book every week on your skill
Pick your daily exercise
- 5-minute exercise
- 10-minute exercise
- 30-minute exercise
- 1-hour exercise
How do you practice? – depending on your skill
We know it is a challenge to find ways to practice your skill. After all, it’s all on you.
It can be overwhelming to find exercises to truly learn, but not to worry because we have a few examples for you:
- Graphic design: basic shapes, colouring, making what a YouTube tutorial suggests
- Languages: reading exercises, listening, writing e-mails with someone who speaks your goal-language on a native level
- If you are making custom-products, imagine you are getting your first customer. What do they want? Create it!
- Communication: connect with people, companies and do research. Then, put into practice what you have learnt and re-evaluate!
Three phases of learning a skill
Skill is built gradually. You can check below where you are at. After all, you want to know you are making progress.
- Beginner: you are still in the beginner’s phase in learning the skill when it hasn’t yet become part of your daily or weekly routine.
- Intermediate: you are on the intermediate level when it has become part of your daily or weekly routine. You can see improvement and you have finished multiple projects.
- Expert: you have been able to finish multiple projects and show your work to an industry professional. You truly belong to this category when you have managed to land a project or you no longer have to hire another professional to get it done.
Finally, now you know how to teach yourself a new skill. It’s time to get started! You can read here which skills are in demand.