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John P. Reiling, PMP: How to improve your Learning 10x!

Here’s how you can explode your learning by almost a factor of 10!

Think back to the last time you went to a seminar or training
course…or even read an article…

How much did you learn?

Research shows that typically we take away only a small fraction – about 10% after 30 days! – of what we thought we learned at the time!

When I spend my time, money, and effort on learning something new, I want to get the absolute maximum from it. I like to come away “changed”, having mastered something new that will stick with me…

Research also shows that we, in fact, CAN take away vastly more – nearly TEN TIMES MORE!

Here’s the concept in a chart:

Here are 10 ways, with just a little more effort, that you can
achieve this:

  1. Take ten minutes to review your notes once per week over the thirty days following the learning experience.
  2. Spend a little time doing “read-aheads” BEFORE the learning
    experience to open your mind to what’s to come. Then add those
    short reviews during the next thirty days after.
  3. Watch a video on the same topic.
  4. Read a separate article on the same topic.
  5. Talk with your friends and colleagues about what you have
    learned. This is one of the best ways to “take ownership”
    of the new found knowledge.
  6. Download and listen to podcasts on similar topics, as these will enable you to firm up the connections you have made to the new concepts.
  7. In the case of online learning, print Skill Briefs and Job Aids, review them ahead if possible, then review them a few times during the month after.
  8. Do an executive summary for others of what you learned – to
    share…and also for your own review! Review your exsum over the
  9. Spend a little time engaging with blogs and forums on the topic. This may give you some new ideas, but will also bring you back to the time of your original learning experience.
  10. Be sure to write down a plan and simple schedule, perhaps at the end of your training, for review over the next 30 days…and commit to doing it!

I don’t mean to overwhelm you with these ten ideas, but am just
trying to stimulate your own thinking. Really, just doing one of
them can work! The key is the first thirty days after your
learning experience…to claim ownership for the long haul of what
you have learned!

Here’s a great way to avail yourself of deep learning, applying the principles above. Sign up by the end of July, 2012, and get two weeks of free access to the Project Management Knowledge Center.

This includes full access to online trianing for the PMP or CAPM exam as well as access to scores on courses for PDUs. Here is a quick summary of the resources you’ll find:

  • Books24x7 – Peruse PM books online very efficiently
  • Featured Topic – Master a new PM topic monthly
  • Practice Labs – Firm up your new skills hands-on
  • Connect with the Experts – A certified PM is a click away
  • Learning Roadmaps – Builds a game plan for skills/certification
  • PDUs – Earns PDUs with a plethora of online courses
  • External Resources – Links to particularly interesting PM sites

It can take a lot of discipline to set aside the time to learn.
But it can be very rewarding! Just spend a little time each day using one or more of the techniques above to be highly effective and focused.


John Reiling, PMP

Project Management Training Online


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