Category Archives for "Personal Growth"

learn faster remember forever
Nov 13

11 steps to learn anything faster like a pro & remember forever

By Sampath | Personal Growth , Productivity

Despite thousands of differences between you and me, if we are going to agree with only a couple of things they would be:

  1. You cannot ever learn everything
  2. You need to learn to grow

Regardless of the activities, you are involved in your day to day life; you don’t stop learning.

Hate your day job because of your arrogant boss? Learn how he’s become the boss. There are at least 3-4 things you can learn from him. That’s how you become one.

Hate your job because it pays you too low? Learn, acquire a new skill that will help you get paid more. The more you learn, the more you master, the faster you grow.

Snipers invest a lot of time to master shooting (not talking about the head-shot here). They spend 3x amount of time to practice than learning it. That’s how they acquire the skill.

Now before you cry to me that you don’t have time, here is a secret.

What if I tell you that you can learn faster, way faster than you think you can? Let’s put you into the “Super fast learning” mode.

Why do you need to learn faster?

  1. You don’t have all the time in the world
  2. You want to get things done in time
  3. You can acquire more skills, faster than your peers & competitors
  4. You gain potential to exponentiate your growth
  5. You get more time to spend with your friends & family

Here is a quick example of how learning faster can help you doing your job better.

Task A takes 16 hours for you to complete. You start learning how to work smarter & after a week or two, you can complete job A within 12-14 hours. You save 2 hours for each task. Not bad, right?

Now I put you into “learn faster” mode, and after a couple of weeks, you can complete the same task within 8 – 10 hours, literally half the time. Too good to be true?

In fact, you can beat my predictions here by doing far better.

How to learn faster?

With an enormous amount of information available everywhere (blogs, ebooks, library, people) it is very easy to get attracted to shiny objects and leave your goal aside. So, take a pen & a piece of paper, write down what’s your goal.

I am going to help you achieve that goal by training you to learn faster. You will be able to mindmap as you read through.

Remember, you have the power to learn anything faster and remember them forever. Let’s go!

1. Your interest matters, always

You would be interested in a lot of things. But, to learn faster pick just one thing to start with.

By this, I am talking about your undivided attention.

Learn one thing at a time - If you chase two Rabbits, both will escape. Click To Tweet

If you ever need to learn 2 things simultaneously, see if you can

  • Tag them along – Eg: Create a Facebook ad + write a very good ad title
  • Identify which one gets priority & focus on that first
  • Find out what interests you more right now

Let’s keep going.

2. Start with learning what you need to know to get a task done

You have the potential to learn anything you desire, but one thing at a time. Break down your goals into simple objectives.

For example, you want to become a Social Media Analyst & be one of the top 10 in your country. Can you do it in a day? No.

  • Your goal should be: Establishing your presence in one network. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
  • Objectives should be: Identifying your target audience, finding right content to post, choosing best thumbnails to increase CTR & so on

3. Break complex learning into smaller parts

How do you eat an Elephant? One piece at a time. Click To Tweet

Say, you wanted to learn about SEO. First, break it down into:

  • On page SEO
  • Off page SEO

Treat the above two as Projects. Now, time to split your projects into tasks.

On page SEO

  • Keyword Research
  • LSI Keywords
  • Meta & Alt Tags
  • Sitemap, Robots
  • Rich content, snippets & so on

Off page SEO

  • Gaining backlinks via Outreach
  • Content repurposing
  • Web 2.0
  • PBN (I personally wouldn’t recommend it)

You got the drill, right? This is how you learn more, faster.

4. Practice as soon as you learned

Learned something new today? Good. Immediately practice what you’ve learned in different real-life scenarios before you move on to learn something else.

Example: Say you learned about finding the optimal timing to post on FB pages for the maximum reach.

Create multiple pages for various niches. Publish content across all those pages to figure out the optimal timing for each one of them.

Don’t rely only on experts’ words who say, “This is the best time to post. Do it.”

Remember, one size doesn’t fit for all.

5. Focus on the process

Do Your Duty, Don't Fret Over the Result - Lord Krishna, Mahabharata (an Indian Epic) Click To Tweet

While you’re implementing, don’t bother about the outcome. Focussing on the outcome will only ruin the process. Don’t do it.

You are going to make plenty of mistakes. Be willing to accept criticism. Take it as a part of your job.

Mistakes are a part of learning. It is only going to help you learn faster & remember forever.

You are born with natural talents. But unless you put those talents into work, you are not going to grow.

So, start implementing that one thing you have learned today!

6. Write down everything you learned

You are going to learn faster when you implement what you’ve read/watched. Make sure to note down every new finding you come up with.

When you learn faster, you learn a lot of things in short time. To remember all of them forever, it’s a must for your to write them down.

Go old school. Use pen & paper.

Your hand-eye coordination when you write down is going to tell your brain to memorize things, find a place to store in it.

7. Reward yourself when you complete a set of smaller tasks

Rewarding is a wonderful way to psychologically boost your self-esteem.

Every living being craves for an appreciation. Would you work harder if you are never going to get promoted? No!

After you finish the steps #2 to #6, reward yourself with a little everyday. Buy yourself a pack of tacos (Yeah, tacos are love), maybe.

8. Always learn from multiple sources

You’ve started learning what you needed to know. It’s very important to learn from multiple sources, given a large amount of data being uploaded on the web every day.

You are going to start implementing what you have learned. You definitely don’t want to try something that will get you banned or even worse, receive a notice for violating policies.

I first read about PBN Network / Link farming back in 2010. There was a super popular network called “Build My Rank” that offered PBN services, which helped lots of websites ranking faster.

learn from multiple sources

Build My Rank Pricing Page: Year 2011

Few of my friends were investing money on BMR network (BuildMyRank) like crazy, to rank their own websites and their clients’.

Google found a large number of websites ranking, in a totally unnatural way. They rolled out a series of algorithms to take away websites like BMR. Not only that, hundreds & thousands of websites that were practicing this method to rank got Blacklisted. Years & years of work gone overnight.

Note: You can still find plenty of PBN networks successful, but I wouldn’t recommend you taking that route.

9. Share what you learned

Let me ask you a question.

What’s one thing you remember the most? Your childhood memories or what you had for dinner 2 weeks back.

We both know it’s the former. Why? Because you shared it with your friends for years, and you’re going to remember it for another 50 years.

Leverage the power of sharing.

10. Stay Healthy

Drink 8-12 glasses of water every day. Keeping yourself hydrated would help you learn faster.

Dehydration is going to dry your brain & won’t let you remember anything.Unlearning doesn’t mean you have to forget all you’ve learned or not putting them into use.

Also, do some stretches every day to wake up your body. Next wake up your mind with 5 minutes of meditation.

11. Find yourself a hobby

“Seriously? But I hardly have time to learn new things.” If you could hear your inner you saying that, scroll all the way up to #1 and re-read.

Although learning what you are passionate about could never be boring, it’s good to take breaks and pick up a hobby.

It helps to rewire your brain to improve your concentration when you are at work.

Bonus hacks:

1. I use Blinkist to listen to one book every day. It’s a wonderful app that will summarize a book of 200+ pages & read it out for you. Always good to finish reading a book while you finish your jogging, right? :)

2. Fan of reading books? Sign up at Brain.Fm It helps you focus big time

Find any interesting hacks here? What other methods do you follow to learn faster?

Let me know in the comments below.

personal growth - career or branding
Sep 11

5 super simple tips for a productive you [try this today]

By Sampath | Personal Growth

1. The first option is to DELETE it. If you have something on your plate, think about whether you need to do it, see if you can delete it.

2. If you cannot delete, then see if you can AUTOMATE it.

3. If you can’t automate, then think about OUTSOURCING it

4. If cannot outsource it, then DELEGATE it

5. If you cannot delegate then, DO IT YOURSELF.

Aug 29

15 Simple Steps for 3x Productivity

By Sampath | Personal Growth

Productivity Tips (Personal Experience)

1) Start waking up early in the morning. If you have this question “How can I make a habit of getting up early in the morning?” then check out this link:http://qr.ae/RCkdSn

If you think that you are more productive at night, then go ahead and read this research paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656292/

You are less productive at night than you are in the morning!

2) Don’t open Facebook, WhatsApp or any other distractive sites in your first hour of work.

If you think, time is money, then you should start planning how you spend it.

3) Create a to-do list of tasks and try complete them within a particular time. We use the “Asana” app (Thanks Amar Ryder for sharing such a great app) for team management and for creating to-do lists.

4) While completing the task, consider all other things as distractions. Human brains are not optimized for multi-tasking. Nevertheless, you can take small breaks (say 3-4 minutes break) in between.

5) Before going to sleep, make sure that you have completed all the tasks as per the plan.

6) Get an early night or otherwise it will not be possible to wake up in the morning. 7-8 hours sleep is a must. Do not compromise with your sleeping hours.

“I sleep 8 hours just about every night. When I can, I sleep more. I believe in sleep. I think a big mistake that young people make when they are eager to be successful is sleep deprivation. Makes you stupid.” – Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia Founder)

7) Many people have a habit of opening Gmail and WhatsApp in one of browser tabs and this distracts them. I prefer checking emails and WhatsApp messages at a fixed interval of time.

8) Use QualityTime Android App (Thanks to Arun Prabhudesai for sharing this app), and create alerts. For example. if you create an alert for WhatsApp for a maximum of half an hour a day then after using WhatsApp for half an hour, it’ll show you an alert. Use the Greenify app to hibernate apps like WhatsApp.

9) Use RescueTime extension or desktop software, more details: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1093546780696671&set=a.154048124646546.48091.100001240781985&type=1

10) Last but not least, discuss with like minded people.

  1. Stop over estimating about yourself – No you cannot do everything on your own
  2. Don’t run after every single thing you see – As tempting as it may get, never run after all of them
  3. Set your goals & stick to them – “You are what you consume” – Not just for food & fitness, but for information overloading too
  4. One thing at a time – You’re asked to cook food, arrange the dining table within 2 hours. In another case, you have decided to watch some tv while cooking & also play a little with your pet etc. — Where is the perfection?
  5. No, it’s not gonna work for you – Just because it worked for your role model, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Learn from them, but you don’t have to follow their foot steps — For example, to quote Sir Richard Branson “Accept even if you don’t know work & do it later”
  6. Unfollow distractions – Memes,
  7. Keep things organized – If you are a writer, keeping your resources ready preparing a draft would be easier
  8. Always be prepared – How is it different from the above? Plan B

Don’t forget to share your experiences in comments below.

book reading tips
Apr 14

How to read a book, even if you hate reading

By Sampath | Personal Growth

Are you someone who just buy books that tickled your interest, but you grab them only to dust off and put it back on the shelf?

I was just like you six months ago, but went on to read 7 books in the last three months. Here is the story of how I did it.

A Forbes Magazine study says 90% of Millionaires & Billionaires read 30+ minutes every day! Click To Tweet

Note: If you manage to read this post, I bet you would become an ardent reader in a few weeks.

I am that guy who loves following successful people (Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg.. the list goes on) on their Social Media profiles, TV interviews & try picking up their routine to see what works best for me to be successful.

Almost every single one of them was mentioning that ‘book reading’ is one of the few secret hacks that helped them become who they are now.

I have got the impression that books could be that new dimension which would take me to the next level.  I started buying books they recommended and it my shelf got loaded up with 30+ books.

Now comes the problem.

Just like you (if you are), I hate to stare at a single object for hours, let alone books. I can sit for no more than 2 minutes to read a book, before falling asleep or grabbing my mobile for no reason.

Things I tried to overcome

  1. Waking up early to start reading
    Result: But plenty of tasks in my To-do list for the day kept distracting me
  2. Visiting library to read book in silence
    Result: Every single time, the librarian walked over to wake me up
  3. Borrowing books from my friends who recommended them
    Result:  I returned the book without reading past the cover
  4. Setting the deadlines to finish reading a book
    Result: Procrastination beat me this time. My hatred for reading fuelled it

I failed every single one of them. These are not bad practices; they just didn’t work out for me.

On an average, Indians read for 11 hours, Americans read for 6 hours & Koreans for 3 hours in a week Click To Tweet

Growing hopeless about my book reading habit, I then continued watching more TV interviews & TED talks. C’mon, videos are not boring anyway!

I started seeing myself as a failure, the man who cannot get a simple task done (although I was doing pretty well with my day job, love life, keeping my parents happy, etc.)

One fine day I was cleaning up my wardrobe & happened to notice that I’ve purchased nearly 60 books (Yeah, I bought more)

I have called it a day already (it was only 11 AM on a business day) and informed my boss that I’d like to take a day off. Fortunately, I had a good boss & he approved it.

Fortunately, I had a good boss & he approved it instantly.

I then switched off the internet, shut down my laptop, mobile into silent mode & just dozed off on the bed. To add fuel to the fire, another book I have ordered a couple of days back just arrived at my doorstep.

my-first-book

I have signed the delivery guy off, kept the book right in front of me and started to wonder what made my purchase this book. Given my mood, I just couldn’t recollect at all.

Decided to go ahead & test my capability by reading the book. PAGE #1 @ 12 pm.

It’s the story of an Indian entrepreneur from his college days, his hatred towards a dayjob, struggles to found a company on his own.

I continued reading & finished off the book @ 3 pm, before having the lunch.

I achieved something in less than 3 hours, what I couldn’t in more than a year. So, how did I do it?

Here are the take-aways that you can try to improve book reading that would help me finish at least 2 to 3 books a month, even if you hate reading one per year.

Pick up your first book after watching a movie / after partially knowing the story

In my case, I watched Varun Agarwal (the Indian Entrepreneur who wrote the book I first read) which I got so curious about to know more about it. His book was the only medium for me to know the whole story.

Keep all the distractions away

Put your mobile in silent mode, switch off your laptop & other gadgets for at least 30 minutes a day. Make sure to grab the book only after doing it so. This way you are training your brain to concentrate only on the book and nothing else. If you have a room for yourself in the house, there’s nothing like it.

Imagine all the way

When you are reading the book, try to picturize every sentence, if not paragraph. Even better if you could relate a few instances in the book with your real life. I do it for every book I read and they always stay in my mind.

Buy books for yourself

Nobody knows you better than you. Do not buy books just because your friends & your idols recommend. Always take a step back, read a preview of the book before buying it. This way you will have a commitment as you are going to read only what you like.

Set the time

Allocate a specific amount of time every day just like your other activities for book reading, even if it is going to be 15 to 20 minutes before the bed say 10 pm.

But make sure to read your book from 10 – 10.20 pm every single day without fail. Going on a vacation? Take the book with you. Do it for 21 days at a stretch and you will get used to the routine.

Decide your next book in advance

This is where most of us fail. We finish with the book and stay stuck not knowing what to read next. Research and order your next book when you are going through the last 20 to 30 pages of the book you are currently reading. Note: Always finish your current book before opening the new one, even if it arrives earlier than expected

Bonus Tips – I call them as Hacks

Listening to audio, podcasts when reading

  • Listen to positive sound waves when you’re reading a book. It stimulates your brain to stay concentrated & you have little to no reason to get distracted. I’d recommend Brain.fm subscription, and you can try with a free account
  • Try an Audiobook before you buy & read a tangible book. Blinkist offers 3 audio books for Free & you can always upgrade your plan. It has saved plenty of hours for me identifying the good ones. You may also download Blinkist for Android / Blinkist for iPhone at your comfort.

If you would like to know any more of what’s discussed above in detail, just drop your comment and I will respond soon.

Happy Book Reading!

Dec 21

7 Golden rules for Success in your Life

By Sampath | Personal Growth , Productivity

1. Never be afraid to ask questions or admit your ignorance on any matter.

2. Read. Devour books.

3. Never raise your voice against parents & grandparents. Remember, what you’re today is because of them!

4. Current politics and news. At the least, have an idea as to what’s happening in the world around you

5. Learn to discuss and debate with people whose thoughts you disagree with, without getting angry/loud

6. The only person you have a right to judge is yourself

7. The times when you think something is falling apart, it’s probably falling together. You probably lack the courage to accept the change