The quest for “super productivity” and how to learn anything; things to read

The quest for “super productivity” and how to learn anything

Given that I have a demanding full time job, I am studying for the CFA, I have multiple young kids, I enjoy exploring the concepts of mastery and discipline, there are many relevant things to learn, and I am plotting the next steps of my career in general I have been more cognizant of my time.

One major hurdle for me upon leaving high school, where I did not have to work very hard to get over a 4.0 on a 4.0 scale, and entering college, was learning how to learn.

Below is what I have learned:

How to learn anything in the auditory domain (Language, Musical Instruments, Singing)


Step 0 learn the script and alphabet of your target language (load into anki…see below)

Step 1

Download a frequency list:

The above is from a quick google search

Step 2

Get a target language dictionary

Step 3

Buy a Tascam CD GT2 or download the Amazing Slow Downer App

Step 4

Download news audio in the target language

BBC and a number of other sources can provide this.

Step 5

Load audio to your IPhone if you bought the amazing slow downer App or onto a blank CD if you bought the CD GT 2.

Step 6

Download the Anki App. Take the Frequency list and translate each word (1 word per card) into Anki for a flash card deck of the 1000 most frequently used words.

Step 7 apply

Spend 1 hour every day slowing down the target language audio and mimicking every inflection and pronunciation out loud. It doesn’t matter that you have no idea what you are saying. If you downloaded BBC, you are dictating the news! Memorize the audio in chunks you can manage. This will be individual words at first and the process will be painful and slow. Then gradually increase. You will accomplish more and more in each hour of every day.

Use the Anki app as it is intended. Be disciplined with your time and plow through these flashcards on breaks or in bed or whatever you please.

The aim overall is to not waste parts of your day with too much dead time.

Step 8

Buy an audio book of a popular common book in English. Then buy the same book hard copy in your target language.

Press play and read along.

Step 9

Put in the time.

Getting good at something flows on a curve. Initial gains will come fast and furious with returns diminishing as you go forward.

Put in the time. Put in the time.

You can use this same process in amended fashion for getting really good at a musical instrument or dramatically improving your singing.

You can amend it further and learn pretty much anything, math, computer programming, and weightlifting etc.

Imagine how much your singing voice would improve if you sat with slowed down audio of the world’s greatest singers and copied them for even 15 minutes a day every day.

It’s back to the CFA…

I’ll write up more on Heart rate training for long distance, weightlifting (even though I’ve been largely inconsistent for a while now), learning a musical instrument, learning components of the stock market and so on.


I have become more and more obsessed with tracking how I spend my time.

Download the Infinity app to keep track and open your eyes. You may be doing well, or you may have a lot of time you can spend on learning value added skills… or if you are like me, learning because you like learning new stuff and knowing things

Things to read

Time to revisit calculated risk

400 points in 400 days – Great Read

400 points part 2

Kansas to Lead the Nation…Downward

My Running Book List



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s