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So long story short, I got a job where (most of the time) I sit in a cozy litle booth and manage a parking garage gate.
As you can guess, there is a lot of downtime for me to do whatever (so long a it doesn't involve a computer). Lately I've been really taking advantage of this by working on a lot o personal things, whether it be artwork, learning programming, music, etc. But many days I feel as if I could have learned a lot more material if I had simply better organized my time, or effectively knew how to study.
Now when I think of studying (as do many), I picture cramming as much info for a test as possible, followed by a blurb of information on a graded page before having all that stored info drain right out. Since I'm not getting graded on this and actually want to retain/utilize this knowledge, I don't think that cramming tactics will work here.
I don't really feel like I know how to study or even "learn" in a sense outside of parroting information like we're trained in school. I could use some help here, because I feel like I have a golden opportunity available and I'd hate to waste it!
So H/A, what advice can you give when it comes to learning new material, as well as staying motivated throughout?