Picking the right skill to learn is probably one of the most crucial meta-skills in all of learning. That's because what you choose to focus on has implications for your motivation, fulfillment, and overall future success.
In this workshop, I showed a simple framework of how to choose what skill to work on next, and how to dissect complex skills and learn them in a manageable sequence. By guiding you through a set of questions and visualizations, you can make a flying start with any learning plan.
Watch the recording
Why become better at learning?
- If you're a knowledge worker, you're likely to face information overwhelm.
- Most skills are now digital, and technology moves fast.
- Using new technology, you can automate much of what you do repeatedly.
- When you know how to learn, you'll have more fun—even when the going gets tough.
Why become better at picking new skills?
- You can only truly learn one thing at the time.
- Effective learning only happens when you keep showing up.
- Picking the wrong skill at the wrong time can kill your motivation.
- Learning the right skills at the right time can give you huge leverage.
- Example: early crypto entrepreneurs.
Visualize your vision
- Close your eyes and think who you want to be in one, five, and ten years from now.
- In everything that I do, I aim to be my best self. I work on self-actualization by helping others find what sparks joy and learn new skills.
Identify your roles
- Name up to three current or potential future roles in your work/life. Under each, name your responsibilities in your role.
- Research topics
- Manage my writing process
- Get and accept feedback
- Publish articles
- Get people to read my articles
- Understand student needs
- Make complex topics simple to understand
- Create learning materials
- Deliver transformational experiences
- Help students to keep showing up
- Understand audience needs
- Spot trends in the market
- Promote my content
- Sell my courses
- Automate whatever I can
Brainstorm useful skills
- Look at your roles and responsibilities and write down whatever high-level skills would make you better at fulfilling your roles.
- Data analysis
- Content delivery
- Curriculum design
- Social media
- Market research
Map the skills to roles
- If you use Roam, block reference a skill underneath any relevant responsibility. Add up the number of block references for that skill.
- If you use a mind mapping tool, draw a dotted line (- - -) for soft links and a solid line for hard links (——).
- Soft links = 1 point
- Hard links = 2 points
DiSSS the top skill
- Deconstruction — What are the minimal learnable units, the LEGO blocks, I should start with?
- Selection— Which 20% of the blocks should I focus on for 80% or more of the outcome I want?
- Sequencing— In what order should I learn the blocks?
- Stakes— How do I set up stakes to create real consequences and guarantee I follow the program?