Tag Archive | Feedback

Learning Optimization 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I optimize Learning?”

Gain optimal feedback on the quality of your learning immediate feedback after every learning session and daily feedback at the end of every day.

How effective was your learning? (Strategy)

Did you learn the highest-leverage things you could be learning? (Leverage)

Did you learn them in optimal order (so that they optimally build upon one another)? (Sequencing)

How efficient was your learning? (Tactics)

Did you challenge yourself?

How active was your information absorption process? (Understanding Efficiency)
Did you process – that is, deeply reflect on – the information immediately, or just lazily saved it for later?

Did you practice deliberately? (Practice Efficiency)
Did you actually have deliberate practice time?

Always keep in mind the central tenet of Essentialism:

Less, but better. (Greg McKeown)

On Learning and Challenge

Learning should be hard.

If you’re finding it hard, you’re doing it right.

If you’re finding it easy, you’re not learning anything at all.

(Ali Abdaal)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How challenging was your last learning time-block?”

“Now that I think of it, not very. I read, I highlighted the useful bits and copied them in my commonplace book. It took close to zero effort.”

“This is our default tendency, the path of least resistance. But in taking this path, our learning efficiency is very low. 

Challenge is feedback. 

In the moment, it reveals your level of engagement.

Are you challenging yourself?
Are you actively learning?

Looking backward, it serves as a benchmark for optimization.”

Internalizing Ideas

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How do I know when I’ve internalized an idea?”

When the idea comes to your mind the moment you need it.

Take the idea that unpleasant feelings are temporary.

If you think it while experiencing an unpleasant feeling, this is your feedback that you’ve internalized it.

This too shall pass.

You have to know in the moment that the feeling will inevitably pass.

This gives you options.

While the feeling lasts, this is your window of opportunity for exploring and working with it.

Always make the most of it.”

Learning Cycles 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I increase learning-density [<link; short length] – the amount of learning done during a day?”

Learning is a feedback loop. It’s a cyclical iterative process.

We’ve spoken before about the Stoic practice of reflecting on the day at the end of every day, which Doland Robertson called learning cycles [<link; medium]. That is a feedback cycle. 

The essential characteristic of a learning cycle is reflection – looking backwards and analyzing a past time-frame. The time-frame can vary. It can be one year, one month, one day, one hour, or even one minute.

To increase learning-density on the daily time-frame, you need to get more cycles in. 

More cycles means faster iteration. 

In addition to the daily learning cycle, do as many as possible micro-cycles during the day.

Every little experience is a potential learning micro-cycle, an opportunity for micro-reflection.”

“Doesn’t this fragment the experience?”

“I see it as actually enriching the experience.

Any experience is actually an aggregate of micro-experiences. Between micro-experiences, there is a natural transition-space. It is in that space where micro-reflection can grow.”

1-minute Meditation

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

The goal of the 1-minute meditation is to focus on your breath for one minute.

“What’s the benefit of meditating for just one minute?”

“A lot can happen in your mental-space in just one minute.

The 1-minute time-frame is deceptively small. When you use it to frame your meditation practice, time seems to dilate, in the same way putting your hand on a hot stove for a minute seems like an hour. I call it subjective-time. You can have a deep practice session in just one minute. 

And there are other benefits. It’s impossible not to find time for it. It makes it easier to get started. However one of the main benefits has to do with Deliberate Practice

You can string 1-minute micro-meditations one after another to form one continuous block – what I call modular-meditation [<link; medium read].

Let’s compare a 10-minute meditation with a modular-meditation consisting of 10 1-minute micro-meditations.

The essential unit of effective practice is the quality-rep(etition) – or, as I call it, the beautiful-rep. The more beautiful-reps you can get within a certain time-frame, the more effective the practice. Using the density [<link; medium read] model, we can say effective practice is denser.

During a 10-minute meditation, it is possible for your mind to wander most of the time. That’s a low density practice.

The 1-minute micro-meditations structure your practice. You can think of them as checkpoints, which bring your wandering mind back, ensuring a higher density practice.

You can think of each 1-minute block as a bigger rep – 1-minute-reps. What the 1-minute-reps offer is fast feedback. Once a minute passes, you immediately know if it was a quality-rep or not.” 

“A quality 1-minute-rep is one in which your mind did not wander?”


You can even count them, just like you might do with breaths.

Another approach I use is to aim for just one quality 1-minute-rep. Once you get it, you’re done. If you don’t get, add another one, and another one, until you do get it.”