HOW TO MASTER A SKILL: 5 USEFUL TIPS
In a world where knowledge is increasingly branching out into various specialties, knowing how to master a skill gains importance. The need for specialization in a particular area is felt in business more than anywhere else. Thus, becoming an expert in your subject of interest is one of the keys to a successful career.
Deepening your knowledge of anything is desirable because not only does it bring professional success but also joy and meaning in what you do. Whether it is related to work or hobby, these 5 tips on how to master a skill will help you overcome certain barriers to making progress in your area of interest and hone your competence without losing time.
Do a Self-assessment
Evaluating yourself as the first step is central to how to master a skill. Thus, before diving into honing the skill, do a self-assessment that shows your current level of knowledge and ability. Being aware of your position in the wide spectrum of expertise will provide you with some insights on the next destination and how much to proceed in the long term.
Break Down the Work into Small Parts
Since you have a clear understanding of your skill level, now you can set to work. Mastering a skill takes a lot of time and effort so you need to have a long-term goal, put a lot of hard work into achieving it, and be patient with yourself. Thus, trying to tackle the whole work at once only makes you feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Instead of attacking the big chunks of the subject, plan the mastering process in a way that is manageable by turning them into smaller parts. Keeping the big picture in mind and working on small sections at the same time will have a tremendous effect on your success in cultivating a skill.
Practice “Deep Work”
You have a solid road map and a manageable plan, so it is time to do the actual work. The ability to focus on a subject is fundamental to mastering a skill since the more you go into a topic, the more you need to concentrate. In his book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport articulately explains why becoming an expert demands this ability.
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He strongly advises focusing deeply on a subject by making a time slot that is not interrupted by unrelated tasks. Among his several models of “deep work” scheduling, I find “the rhythmic philosophy” the most relatable as many of us work in a nine-to-five job. This model suggests you practice “deep work” regularly and make it a habit, so allocating 2 to 3 hours for mastering your skill in the early morning before work can make a world of difference.
Find Ways to Objectively Evaluate Your Progress
Specializing in a field is a long process during which getting lost is displeasingly easy. If you do not track your progress regularly, feelings of frustration and discouragement can build up.
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Not to get stuck in those feelings and give up at the end, you need to refer to objective evaluations. Implementing your current knowledge or ability is one of the great methods for testing your skill level. In this way, you will be able to see if your learning methods are successful and, if not, fix the issues without losing much time. Furthermore, you will be encouraged to keep up the good work when you get successful results.
Ask a Mentor in Your Field for Some Insights on How to Master a Skill
When it comes to how to master a skill, each field has its specifics which you should give serious consideration to. One of the most effective ways to learn them and make your progress faster is to get help from someone who is already a professional at what you try to specialize in. Asking that person questions peculiar to your area of interest can extremely speed up the progress of mastering the specific skill that you are working on.
Newport, Cal. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Grand Central Publishing, 2016.
❝ Hi everyone! My name is Aymesey. I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University. Researching and writing are what I like doing most. Nowadays, I feel passionate about psychology and self-development. Hope you enjoy reading my articles!❞
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