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The 10 Best Books on Productivity

Productivity forms the backbone of any self-improvement effort. If you can’t organize your time, accomplish your tasks and complete your projects, what chance do you have to reach any other goal you’ve set for yourself? At the same time, few topics are so frequently misunderstood. Overwork is often equated with productivity. Burnout, stress and exhaustion,...

You Should Pay for Tutors

One-on-one tutoring is one of the most effective ways to learn anything. In his famous paper on the “2 sigma problem” in educational research, Benjamin Bloom called for a search for group teaching interventions that approximated the efficacy of tutoring: However, the most striking of the findings is that under the best learning conditions we can...

Interview: Building a Second Brain with Tiago Forte

How often have you read a book, taken a course or listened to a podcast and . . . promptly forgotten everything the minute you switch your attention to something else? Being able to retain what you learn is a central difficulty in our era of information abundance. Too many great ideas get wasted, simply because we forget them when we might need them....

No, You Haven’t Forgotten Everything

If I made you take the final exam for a class you studied a decade ago, would you pass? The unfortunate truth is that, except for knowledge we actively use in daily life, much of what we learn is beyond our powers of recall. But that doesn’t mean it has been erased from our memories. Why We Forget Early theories of forgetting were based on decay....

Do You Learn More by Struggling on Hard Problems?

Suppose you’re learning a skill like algebra, programming or drawing. Consider two different strategies for studying: Examples first. Before you try anything on your own, study examples of how other people solve similar problems. Problems first. Before looking at any examples, try to solve the problem independently. If you fail or don’t get very...

Book Review — Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs

Pedigree is an eye-opening book. Author and sociologist Lauren Rivera looks into the recruitment practices in elite law, banking, and consulting firms. Rivera’s unsettling portrait provides much ammunition for those who would argue that meritocracy is a myth. In particular, Rivera finds: Alma mater is all-important. Elite firms draw from “core”...

More Recent Reading

About a year ago, I started a research project focused on the transfer of learning. Given the often disappointing evidence for learning transfer between the classroom and the real world, I was eager to dig into the research on apprenticeships and learning by doing. But the research turned out to be more complicated (and interesting!) than I had expected....

Rapid Learner is Now Open for a New Session

Rapid Learner, my six week course designed to make you a better student, professional and lifelong learner is now open: Click here to sign up for Rapid Learner. This is the new edition of the course, which includes 20+ newly recorded lessons, deep dives, walkthroughs and more. If you’re looking to get better at learning difficult things, this course...

See-Do-Feedback: The Right Way To Practice

Next week, I’m opening a new session of my popular course, Rapid Learner. Registration will begin on Monday, April 25th and closes on Friday, April 29th. Below is a lesson drawn from the material I teach in Rapid Learner. If you find it helpful, be sure to check out the full course. The foundation for effective learning is practice. You get good...

Reader Mailbag: Sustaining Motivation, Judging Experts and the Meanings of Life

Last week, I asked readers to send me their questions about learning, life, or… anything really. I got over one hundred replies! Here are a few I’d like to share: Gary asks:“What are your morning and evening routines?” Listen to this article I don’t have anything fancy in terms of routines. My mornings, these days, usually start at...

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