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Just-in-time learning

Planted 02021-01-05

Learning an idea when you need it the most.

My list of books I want to read always grows more than it shrinks. One of the filters I use to determine what book to read next is this idea of just-in-time learning.

I’ll pick up books and set them down after only reading around twenty-percent of the book, or even just immediately set them aside for later. I’m now aware of the book’s general idea, and I set aside books that don’t help me with my immediate needs.

If the book’s ideas would assist me in a project, then I read it then—when I need it the most. Just-in-time.

Applying this to school projects has practically become a superpower. If you know the right books, you can use the learnings to scaffold your entire project.

For example, in a group project about Intercultural Communication in business, I read The Culture Code by Erin Meyer. I had already started No Rules Rules, where it introduces Erin Meyer and why she was chosen to co-author the book—because she wrote The Culture Code.

And it was the perfect book for the project. Reading took longer as I was taking notes and designing slides all the while. But by the end of the book, I had the structure for the entire project all worked out. All that was left was for team members to decide which part they wanted to work on and mold it further into our created situation.

It seems that with TV and social media, books are relics of an older time. But it’s extremely hard to find something as valuable for your time and money as books can be, especially when you use it when you need it.

Something you can do in a few focused hours can make you an authority on something. It’s worth trying.

If you found this interesting, you’ll like my notes from the book Ultralearning.