A Six Week Rule – Learning New Skills Requires A Departure From The Old

Written By: Lance Piatt

I want to quickly drop a few hacks into our learning lives… To be honest though, we have to stop doing at least one thing.  Stop doing what we are doing, because it may not be working.

Lets face it, life is no longer simply simple.  You can read about all the counter-culture, getting back to “nature and basics”… it is “flur and garble”.  What we have around us is the new culture and in order to bring about huge changes, it requires us being more invasive and purposeful.  Equality is a lie… Even physics confirms this.  Nothing grows, expands or improves when equality is in effect.  Proof?

Atmosphere, weather, friction, relationships, deep water diving, high altitude climbing, energy… and the list goes on.  My point here is that homeostasis IS equality and when this is in play, nothing happens… literally. In fact, life and learning is not a vacuum experience.  Leaks are everywhere and in everything and because of this, nothing we do is ever equal. However, having the same habits will be a process of erosion because there is always energy loss somewhere.  How do we overcome this loss?  We must match it with sustained and scalable increase.


Here is what I want for you… To become who you are meant to be. I don’t care if you are 5, 50 or 105.  You are the most incredible person in your life and placing a proper value system on you is crucial.  We’ll talk more about this down the road… but I want to frame this in you.  A hero is born AND made.  You are the Hero and the Hero in the making.

I want to propose something new.  INEQUALITY!  Am I ruffling a few feathers?  I hope so!  However, let me explain.

A personal goal of mine is to change the atmosphere of learning in our industry.  Pretty simple right?  How is this accomplished?  Well, I will be laying out a few things that can help, however… nothing ever is accomplished until one of two things happens… A PAIN POINT is reached that is greater than your surrounding environment, requiring you do something.  Or…!  A PLEASURE POINT is reached that draws you out of your current surrounding and begins a new life.  Either way, if neither of these occur, your life is at a standstill.  Homeostasis… Equality.  And we can have the greatest list in the world, but if you don’t do something about it, it won’t happen.

A Starting point… 6 for 6

  1. Teach Someone Else (or Imagine Doing So)
  2. Learn In Short Bursts Of Time
  3. Take Notes By Hand
  4. Use The Power Of Mental Spacing
  5. Take A Study Nap
  6. Change It Up


  1. Teaching someone something is THE best way to learn.  The expectation of teaching changes your mind-set so that engagement is at a higher level.  Organizational skills are at their highest when teaching is in play.
  2. There appears to be a 3-50 rule in play.  A 30 minute focused effort is a minimum and at 50 minutes, there appears to be a drop off where our brain isn’t functioning as well.  I know this applies to athletes as well. Short bursts of high level work with short recovery phases.
  3. Taking notes by hand, honestly, isn’t something I do real well… mostly because I don’t have paper with me a lot.  I have started to change this though.  It has been shown that taking notes by hand vs notes by laptop has much better retention levels. Why?  It requires much more thought processing notes by handwriting than by simply typing.
  4. Mental spacing sounds wild right?  I do this a lot and I love it.  It is the difference between watering a garden or lawn for 90 minutes once a week vs 30 minutes three time a week. Better absorption.  Better processing singles in the brain and body.
  5. Napping!  Now this is something very much counterintuitive.  Only kids nap right.  Why are they napping?  What makes you think infants, are any different. Think about the incredible and mind boggling amount of information being thrown at us!  Talk about Einstein’s understanding of relativity…?  He took naps.  Why?  He had to!  Proper napping recharges aspects of our system better than so many other “ways”.
  6. Here is the clincher… Changing It Up.  Remember the NEW OPPORTUNITY I spoke about last time?  Here it is.  Whether motor skills, mind training or really anything else.. modifications and complete departures to something brand new creates a reconsolidation within us.  Reconsolidation  is a process where memories are recalled and modified with new knowledge.  A NEW OPPORTUNITY doesn’t have nearly as much “memories”, so there is less to modify.  And when there is less to modify, there is less of “the lies” that says.. “you can’t do this, you’ve tried before and failed”.    More on this later for sure.

The Six Week Rule

OK… So here we are. The Six Week Rule.  No, you won’t any scientific facts about anything “Six Weeks”.  You will find some pretty interesting “thoughts” about six weeks.  However, what I will say here is that it fits within the model of the 30-50 rule we spoke about earlier.  It is a short burst of succinct focus time. With me personally, anything under four weeks… I can talk myself out of something. Eight weeks  (2 months) just seems really long. So, 6 weeks is apparently a sweet spot.  The number six is associated with sacrificing, caring, healing, protecting and teaching others.  It is harmonious with other “numbers”.  Thus, SIX WEEKS is a great frame work in which to learn from.

The goal for learning is this… Energy Input – Energy Output = Energy Reserve

When we study and teach, give and mentor, expand and move… There must alway be a place where reserves are replenished, restored and saved.  It is called POTENTIAL.  It is what we have by way of our position rather than our actions.  However, our actions are fixed to our potential.  My goal this year is to bring about an atmosphere of change and do it in Six Week growth spurts.  Spoiler Alert!  It won’t look like you think it might.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be a NEW OPPORTUNITY would it?

So throwing out the latest and greatest… if not applicable and remembered, is a waist of energy and resources.  We are going to change this!

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Peace on your days…




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