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How to Master New Skills Fast?

As soon as people realize what kind of major they want to study or job - to have, they search for the list of skills required for it. Education requires mainly technical skills, a job position - both hard and soft ones.

For instance, it’s not enough to just be talkative to be a good support representative. A number of problems may arise in this job if you are bad at resolving conflicts, making decisions, and solving problems. If you are not aware of the specifics of the product your client decided to purchase, your soft skills won’t help that much as well.

When you apply for a major, you also need to hone several skills to the level that will help you enter the learning institution. One good grade won’t help you much. So, you have to grasp several skills at once as fast as possible - either before exams or while the job position is still in high demand on the market. But how do you do that?

Revise Regularly
When students face writing an essay for the first time, even a literary analysis essay outline seems to be hard to compose. Yet, this issue disappears after you write several outlines, receive feedback from the teacher a couple of times, and address it in the end. After that, nothing seems to be easier than an outline. It works like this with basically any skill you can name.

However, it won’t work properly if you write those outlines several months apart. It doesn’t mean you should revise something every day. That would be too much work.

Let’s say you have an opportunity to train a particular skill twice a week. There is a big difference between revising some material or practicing a move on weekends and doing it every 3 days. If you wait for too long, the neural connections will get so weak that you will have to learn that move almost afresh.

Obviously, it depends on the type of activity and the length of the learning session. So, the point is, set the regular intervals and keep in mind that the sessions shouldn’t be too overwhelming. You still can’t spend a whole day mastering a skill and easily get back to where you stopped in like a month.

A good example to mention here would be visual arts students. Did you know that their studies include copying famous paintings? The goal is to understand how the greatest ones completed their masterpieces. The students dig into such specifics as particular techniques, types of strokes, use of brushes and other tools, etc.

So, when you see a poetry analysis essay example again, set aside the fact of how much you admire the work. Look into it, replicate it based on the same or another poem. Just don’t submit it. You need this exercise to hone your skill, not be accused of plagiarism.

Test Yourself
If you have a schedule or a plan for mastering a skill, include some milestones for tests. It’s not necessary to cover all the 400 foreign words you learned during the month. Choose ⅕ of the material randomly and give answers. The same applies to any activity you are involved in.

As you see your weak spots (e.g. in a particular topic), you will know what you should pay more attention to. Such examinations also show you the easiest topics that shouldn’t be revised too often. The latter is just about saving your time if you really want to grasp the skills as fast as possible.

Be Realistic
Do not take up too many skills at once. Remember that whatever you’re aiming to be proficient at, at first, it will be easy. Yet, gradually, the level of complexity will rise and you may not have time for anything at all and just give up on all the activities. It will not only be ‘not fast’ - it’s a waste of time and effort. What’s more, such outcomes often discourage people from trying again.

Whether it’s a tech skill or a soft one, you need to practice it, even if it’s not done within the framework of your real job or studies. This is more about the habit of using an opportunity to practice, making spontaneous decisions. However, to form that habit, you should first set a rule to ‘program’ yourself:

- communication skills - set a goal of having several small talks with a stranger per week (yes, it can seem scary, but with time, you’ll feel more confident);
- writing skills - examine a visual analysis essay and write yourself a short one every week;
- drawing skills - whenever you’re up to drawing doodles, use this drive to apply a new technique you’ve learned about recently and haven’t tried yet.

To Sum Up
And, finally, after you master a skill, apply it whenever you can. Do not let your new knowledge and abilities go to waste. If you learned a foreign language - go out of your way to practice it as much as possible. Such activities won’t let your skill rust.
Author: Torsten Daerr