Learning new skills vs honing old ones | The Daily Star

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12:00 AM, January 05, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:01 AM, January 05, 2018

Learning new skills vs honing old ones

The end of your exams brings with it a new dilemma. While you're glad to finally have some free time and not constantly worry about the pile of assignments due the next day, you soon start wondering how to make good use of this opportunity. You remember the French course you started in Duolingo last semester break and stopped after three classes. You also recall the extensive plans you made with your best friend to learn dancing together. Or perhaps, now is the right time to earn brownie points with your boss at your new internship by working on your presentation skills!

Instead of cramming up your routine with a gigantic to-do-list that you'll never finish, opt for properly learning one or two things. Certain skills such as driving and cooking are essentials and the sooner you master it, the better. If you've already started learning but haven't quite gotten around to finishing it, now would be the best time to hone these skills. However, for skills such as playing an instrument, if you have already figured out that it isn't your cup of tea, move on to something else.

For job-related skills that you need on a daily basis such as working with MS Excel or PowerPoint, a clear concept is required, so remember to brush up on them if your knowledge is rusty or inadequate. But some skills are complementary and it's best to learn them simultaneously. For example, don't wait till you're a pro at CSS to learn HTML if you want to be a web designer. Learning them at once will help you understand their roles more effectively in the final design and will also allow you to start your own pet projects.

Whichever method and pace of learning you choose, don't dwell on just one particular skill set. The world is dynamic and to keep up with it, you're going to constantly have to hone your old skills as well as learn new ones! Like most things in life, the key here is to find balance.

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