Like most people my interests tend to shift over time. I get really interested in something, focus on it 100%, and slowly my interest gets pulled to newer and more exciting things. I think this is a pretty natural part of living. Most of us are trying to find excitement in our lives and learning new things definitely keeps things fresh. Something starts out exciting, we get used to it, and many times end up losing interest all together.
This also happens with skills and knowledge. When you first learn something new it is exciting and you are doing it a lot. This can be something as simple as a certain way you clean or organize or a the way you go about doing you work. It might have been that the skill was something very helpful to you and a large time saver, yet over time you stopped. It may not have been intentional, but at some point that skill/knowledge lost it’s newness or appeal and you stopped doing it. In fact, unless you are reminded what it was, you probably can’t even think of it.
Every once in a while you have to relearn. Or better yet, you have to KEEP learning. However, in order to keep learning, you do need to occasionally review what you already know.
I find that reading is a great way to keep my skills advancing, but there are also additional things you can do to help. Putting things on schedules so you are reminded to keep doing them, writing down the important things you learn and reviewing them later, and of course asking for advice from others. It seems that there is always someone who has tried something I am interested in, and that person’s advice is always so valuable. Even if I don’t use their idea or information directly I can still use it to help create my own ideas.
Recently I decided I wanted to brush up on my Japanese skills. I live in Japan, so speaking isn’t really an issue, but I decided I wanted to start studying again to improve my grammar and vocabulary. As I started considering how I wanted to go about studying and exactly what my goals were, I came across a number of sites and techniques I had basically forgot about.
Now I can take that old knowledge and combine it with anything new I might have learned since then to create an even more efficient and effective study method.
I am also re-reading “The 4 Hour Work Week” to relearn a lot of the tricks and time savers in that book. If nothing else, it is a great book to get motivated.