Did you know that learning something new in your me-time can actually save you from having dementia or Parkinsons?
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
– Chinese proverb
Today morning I skipped my ashtanga yoga practice as I got my periods. But then I actually got down to read and listen about whether I should be practicing ashtanga during my menstrual cycle. And I came to know about a few interesting things. I read about how I use my bandhas while practicing Ashtanga and how they might interrupt the downward flow of menstrual cycle. I also read about how I should listen to my body and give it some rest if it demands it. That is probably why we have a tradition to let the woman rest during the first 2-3 days. I was happy that my day started with such an important piece of information.
As my brain became happy about this new and exciting thing I had learnt, I started reading more and more about these magnetic flows inside the body. This is fun, I thought to myself. And so the quest began! This is how the science of learning works!
Our scientist tell us that learning something new triggers the novelty centre in our brain. As it lits up, it starts generating dopamine, the happy hormone. The more the hormone is released, the more we like learning new things and so on. That is why I think newspapers are loved universally. You learn many new things at the start of the day and leaves you more than ready to kickstart the day.
Your morning me-time routine can help you refreshed and ready to kickstart the day, read how over here – Early morning me-time!
Why should you learn something new in your me-time?
As me-time gives you time to explore, learning something about the things those interests you increase your happiness levels substantially. There are so many reasons why you should learn something new in your me-time, other than apparent rise in dopamine levels –
You feel empowered and confident
With new knowledge churning inside your brain, you feel more empowered and confident.
Build more connects and relationships
The knowledge helps you connect with many different types of people and build long lasting bonds.
The more you learn, the easier it becomes to learn
Learning new things is the best exercise for your brain. And as is true with any other kind of exercise, the more you practice, more easy it is to perform.
Relatable to others
If you are well read about a range of subjects you can find common ground with many people and hence easily relate to what they are saying.
Helps with financial gains
An important benefit which can’t be ignored is that the additional knowledge might help with enhancing your career and may help increase the financial gains.
The span of your imagination expands as you go on learning more and more. It thus fuels your creativity and helps you come up new ideas!
Perspectives for decision making
An important aspect of decision making is that you should be able to look objectively at the issue at hand. Your knowledge of varied subjects gives you a much needed perspective during your decision making process.
Technique of learning something new in your me-time
One might think that learning something new consistently is so difficult. But we used to do it very easily when we were in schools and colleges right? I think we were lucky that we had just one channel of radio and only television as our distraction. Even that felt too much at that time. Now with the introduction of facebook, whatsapp, Instagram, Netflix, etc our world has reduced to our smart phones. There are multiple channels on radios, television and so many other online TVs coming up like Netflix and TVF. I am not even counting numerous newspapers and numerous magazines to choose from. There is literally an onslaught of data on our brain every single minute of the day. And since our brain is information-hungry all the time, we like to absorb every byte of information thrown at us. This actually confuses us and makes it literally impossible to process the data, convert it into usable information.
Do you know how much data we consume everyday? A study says that 75 GB data is downloaded in our brain daily and it is almost double of what was being done 9-10 years back. So why is that a problem? Because we do not use 99% of the same!! Can you imagine the amount of data that turns into garbage when it enters our brains? It happens to many of us – we browse through tons of information, blogs, articles, podcasts, videos – but we hardly use any of it in actual implementation. As per what Derek Sivers says, ideas are just multiplier of execution. They mean nothing unless they are coupled with execution!
What is the process of learning?
Learning something takes a lot of effort and focus. Even when you want to keep yourself to few select websites on the internet you tend to browse, it is that addictive!
So when I say learn something new, I really mean learn, understand and implement. Though, there might be couple of road blocks in achieving this –
1] How do we find such information to be learnt on a daily basis
2] How do we sort out the usable data from 75 GB of junk data
3] How do we implement them without overwhelming ourselves.
By implementing this challenge, we will read selective information and ignore the unnecessary information. We will also start feeling less overwhelmed by all the information being thrown at us from all media. At the end of the day, we will feel accomplished of not having wasted our time and achieved something worthwhile.
Technique of learning something new
As I listened to this TED talk of Josh Kaufman, I found that learning something new in me-time is actually not as hard as it sounds. You can learn a topic in as less as 20 hours. Learn how –
Once I have learnt a topic, I use these techniques to ensure that I don’t forget what I have learnt –
1] Share it with others
Sharing your knowledge with others helps you instantly memorise what you have learnt. Discussing about it might enhance your memory to few more days.
2] Journal about it
Writing about the new thing helps you remember it easily. Journaling is a technique used for many purposes, but writing about new things is the fastest way to ensure that you remember them.
Book your time to do some journaling through our Think Metime android mobile app! Download here – Think Metime!
3] Take it up as a challenge
Take it up as a 30 day challenge and change your life by introducing this new habit. Learn something new in your me-time every day for 30 days! These are the steps you need to take before implementing this #30daychallenge –
1] Find an objective to be accomplished by learning something new over the next 30 days (it might be health goal, cooking goal, baking goal, or literature, etc; anything you wish to use well in your life.)
2] Find the source from which you are going to learn something new.
3] Pick up a time slot on a daily basis when you are going to learn this something new.
4] Keep a journal of what you have learned daily
Do share your knowledge and experience with us.
8 easy ways to learn something new in your me-time
Here are some easy avenues through which you can learn something new in your me-time!
1] You Tube channels
Almost 500 hours of video is streamed on YouTube every minute!! You can subscribe to the channels you are most interested and watch everyday in your me-time. Here are few examples of YouTube channels you can follow to learn something new –
- Rachana Ranade – stock market
- Khan’s academy
- TED Talks
- 5 minute crafts
- Youtube channels for learning new languages
2] Websites and blogs
You can check your favourite websites and blogs daily to learn something new about the topic you are interested in. Here are few suggestions –
- Martha Stewart
- Lonely Planet (my favourite #1)
- Ancient History Encyclopedia (my favourite #2)
3] Online courses and apps
- Big think
5] Mobile apps
There are multiple learn something new mobile apps available to help you stay tuned to the topic you are interested in. Here are some suggestions –
6] Facebook and other social media
These days there is a range of materials available in the form of videos and informative blog posts on facebook and other social media. Just follow your favourite pages and visit them daily!!
7] Newspapers and magazines
Of course as I mentioned earlier daily newspaper and monthly magazines are also a huge source information, if you know where to look. Editorials have always been my favourite. What’s your favourite column?
There are many books which help you go deeper into the subject you are interested in. Choose your favourite and buy it from Amazon.in!
You might also be interested in our recommendations – Books!
30 day challenge – How did I do it?
I decided to write cooking blogs for which I had to browse through select websites, learn about the cuisines, mix and match the meal plans and lay it systematically in the blog.
You might to read about it here – Meal plans and recipes!
I also had to study few websites for stress management through food and cooking. It was an interesting study which I did weekly. I saw two movies to understand the mindset of a cook and was intrigued. Then, I learnt many new things about food and cooking art. Of course I would like to continue learning these things as there are so many new things to try. But, I would like to confess that I had a hard time staying on track. I tended to move to deserts when I really wanted to study the main courses !!
I am also trying to learn something from my daily activities. This helps me feel grateful for things happening around me. Though I have not been able to successfully maintain a journal, I have been successful in observing things going on around me and gaining happiness in small bytes.
My journey of deliberately learning something new in me-time has been great. I would just like to wish this fulfilling journey continues whole life long!
Do write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org to give your feedback and we will be happy to publish you here!!!
You might also like to read: Declutter your schedule and make room for daily me-time