Using Incremental Learning to Boost Your Intelligence

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

In today's society, what you know is your power; your intelligence can make or break your company. You must understand your industry in order to be successful in it. The incremental learning method described for you here, can help you achieve technical superiority in your field with just a few minutes per day.

No matter how busy you are, if you have time to read this article you can start an incremental learning program today. It only takes 15 minutes a day, a pen, and a spiral notebook. You do not have to buy anything, or have any special talents.

If you have a small team, you can even use this strategy to improve your employees� ability to serve customers -- without any training budget. Your children can use this method, your spouse, and it will even work for you. Incremental learning can boost your intelligence without spending a dollar, in as little as 15 minutes per day.

Your Strategy for Incremental Learning

Now that you know how easy this strategy is, here is a simple 4-step plan to get an incremental learning program started today.

  1. Select 3 quality newsletters, books, or publications for each week,
  2. Jot down 3 key ideas from the each article you read in an ideas notebook,
  3. Jot down 3 more ways on how you can use each idea in your business,
  4. Note any words you didn�t recognize in the back of notebook to look up later,

Before you know it, you will have pages up pages of useful ideas. These notebooks will become a tool to help you learn, while you mind expands with information that can help you be more successful in business.

Selecting Quality Sources of Knowledge

In choosing three quality newsletters, books, or publications to read each week you are simplifying your choice in subject matter. Just select a pile of materials, work your way through them, then when done choose new subjects. In the case of newsletters, new subjects come to you regularly; newsletters can be a great source of information.

The key is choosing quality materials from reliable sources. Strive to learn from the best minds available. You choose only three sources because it is about obtaining only what you can get through in a week -- select subject areas useful to your business.

If you are not sure what subjects to concentrate on, then start with your language. Then consider subjects that improve the job you already perform, and then the knowledge you need to qualify for the job you want. Next, concentrate your efforts on your industry and select topics that tune your personal development skills. These foundational areas will make you invaluable to your company, your community, and your family.

Extracting What You Have Learned

For each 15-minute session with a single publication jot down at least three key ideas contained in what you have just read. Do not just note the ideas you think you need to know, but the key ideas the author wanted to convey to you. Irrelevant ideas will bond together with new information as you expand your learning, creating new ideas to solve problems in your business. Remember this is an incremental strategy, which provides its greatest rewards over time.

These key ideas are listed in you idea notebook organized by individual topics or sources. It is useful to organize these ideas by topic or question because it helps you use the notebook as a reference tool in the future. Select a method that makes it easy for you to reference this information in the future. Choose sentences you will understand 10 months from now.

Answering the Question How Can I Use This Information�

Using the same style you use to note ideas, jot down how you can use� what you have just read. These notes do not have to be things you can immediately implement, but things that ideally would put this information to work for you. While you may not have the resources to implement what you learn, this technique gets you thinking about the application of information, which is where you gain real results.

Intelligence alone does not make you successful; you obtain success through the application of knowledge. While the knowledge you gain will improve to your ability to learn, it is what you know over how much you know that produces results. Thinking about how to apply this information is so important, because it enhances what you do daily.

Note Any Terms That Are Unclear

Knowing the meaning of relevant terms improves your understanding of what you are reading each day. If there are any terms that are unclear, jot them down in the back of your idea notebook to look up later. This list is also useful for words you frequently misspell.

Over time, this back of the book reference can help build your vocabulary making it easier to convey the ideas you have gained. You can also reference this page when writing to others or noting your ideas.

How to Benefit From Incremental Learning

Executives and business owners can benefit from these strategy since it can help you stay on top of your industry, even improve your skills making you more valuable to your company. Since incremental learning does not take much time, you can use it for morning team building or even used as part of brainstorming sessions.

Incremental learning should be a part of your personal continuing education program. If you don't have the budget to regularly attend outside training programs you can keep your out of pocket expenses low by using quality source on the Internet, your public library, book swap clubs, special condensed reports from experts, or even audio summaries. Try to stay away from news sources; while they have their place, a successful incremental learning program is primarily educational in nature.

Incremental learning works by brining together small amounts of information, pieced together by critical thinking. Incremental learning fills in those missing pieces in your career life puzzle, the extra malleable pieces you gain over time. While it does not replace experience or some element of formal training, the more time you spend (up to 1-2 hours per day) the more extra pieces� to your career puzzle you will have at your disposal.

Your intelligence grows because information gained previously shapes your perception of new ideas. You will become more open to new ideas and have a greater understanding of a broader range of topics. These layers of relevant information build your proficiency and increase your value overtime.

By using this strategy your intelligence can increase by 25% or more, in just the first month of investing 15-minutes per day reading and thinking, in a single subject. Your idea notebook will become a powerful problem-solving tool making you more valuable while preparing you for future growth. What are 15-minutes a day worth to your future?

© 2002 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved.
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Justin Hitt is a strategic relations consultant with the Center for Strategic Relations. He is available for limited consultative support of professional organizations serving other businesses. Call +1 (877) 207-3798 or visit

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