9 habits of lifelong learners

After getting through your daily routine, it can feel impossible to find time to learn a new skill, Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of the Seattle-based SEO agency AudienceBloom, writes for Entrepreneur.

But, he argues, lifelong learning has a range of benefits. You might find a new approach to your daily tasks, gain a better understanding of your industry, or discover lessons that help you improve yourself. DeMers suggests nine habits that can help you be a lifelong learner.

1: Talk to an expert.

To get a simple explanation, even for the most complex of topics, it's often helpful to speak with someone who has learned it before, DeMers writes.

2: Get rid of distractions.

According to DeMers, we all know by now that multitasking is not good for you. When you sit down to learn, turn off everything else—including your phone. Dedicate your time to learning.

3: Take it in strides.

Studies have found that marathon study sessions reduce student performance. Instead, DeMers recommends learning sessions should last just 20 to 30 minutes.

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4: Record everything.

DeMers cites studies that show writing things down helps us remember them. One possible reason could be that your brain believes whatever you're writing is worth remembering, he writes. Try to write down new lessons to retain them, DeMers recommends.

5: Learn the basics.

DeMers proposes identifying the most important details of your new topic and spending most of your time on those. For example, if you're learning a new language, maybe just start with the most common words.

6: Correct your mistakes.

When you're learning new things, especially on your own, be sure to have a reference to check your work against, DeMers writes.

7: Practice, practice, practice.

The best way to learn and remember something is to practice and repeat on a consistent basis, DeMers writes.

8: Teach it to someone else.

Learning experts say that the best way to study is to test your memory of what you've learned. Telling someone else what you're learned is a great way to do this, according to DeMers.  

9: Avoid burnout.

There comes a point when you might be tempted to give up—perhaps you're losing interest in the subject or you're just feeling tired. To work through it, try changing up your study habits to keep things fresh and reward yourself for reaching milestones, DeMers recommends (DeMers, Entrepreneur, 9/1).

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