In this 60-minute workshop, I took a group of learners through a simple but effective framework to define their vision, spot their roles and responsibilities, and find what skill to learn next to accelerate towards their vision.
Picking the right skill to learn is probably one of the most crucial meta-skills in all of learning. That's because what you choose to focus on has implications for your motivation, fulfillment, and overall future success.
In this workshop, I showed a simple framework of how to choose what skill to work on next, and how to dissect complex skills and learn them in a manageable sequence. By guiding you through a set of questions and visualizations, you can make a flying start with any learning plan.
Watch the recording
Why become better at learning?
- If you're a knowledge worker, you're likely to face information overwhelm.
- Most skills are now digital, and technology moves fast.
- Using new technology, you can automate much of what you do repeatedly.
- When you know how to learn, you'll have more fun—even when the going gets tough.
Why become better at picking new skills?
- You can only truly learn one thing at the time.
- Effective learning only happens when you keep showing up.
- Picking the wrong skill at the wrong time can kill your motivation.
- Learning the right skills at the right time can give you huge leverage.
- Example: early crypto entrepreneurs.
Visualize your vision
- Close your eyes and think who you want to be in one, five, and ten years from now.
- In everything that I do, I aim to be my best self. I work on self-actualization by helping others find what sparks joy and learn new skills.
Identify your roles
- Name up to three current or potential future roles in your work/life. Under each, name your responsibilities in your role.
- Research topics
- Manage my writing process
- Get and accept feedback
- Publish articles
- Get people to read my articles
- Understand student needs
- Make complex topics simple to understand
- Create learning materials
- Deliver transformational experiences
- Help students to keep showing up
- Understand audience needs
- Spot trends in the market
- Promote my content
- Sell my courses
- Automate whatever I can
Brainstorm useful skills
- Look at your roles and responsibilities and write down whatever high-level skills would make you better at fulfilling your roles.
- Data analysis
- Content delivery
- Curriculum design
- Social media
- Market research
Map the skills to roles
- If you use Roam, block reference a skill underneath any relevant responsibility. Add up the number of block references for that skill.
- If you use a mind mapping tool, draw a dotted line (- - -) for soft links and a solid line for hard links (——).
- Soft links = 1 point
- Hard links = 2 points
DiSSS the top skill
- Deconstruction — What are the minimal learnable units, the LEGO blocks, I should start with?
- Selection— Which 20% of the blocks should I focus on for 80% or more of the outcome I want?
- Sequencing— In what order should I learn the blocks?
- Stakes— How do I set up stakes to create real consequences and guarantee I follow the program?
- Worksheet in Excalidraw
- The Art and Science of Learning Anything Faster (chapter from Tim Ferriss' book The 4-Hour Chef that talks about the DiSSS framework).