Learn more, faster, with this Tim Ferriss learning hack

I’ve always loved to learn about learning. It’s my Kryptonite. (Bacon is my other Kryptonite).

In high school and college I avidly studied speedreading, teaching and learning processes, mindmapping, heuristics, mneumonics and memorization, and I did some tutoring on these subjects. (Nerd alert: I also designed my own notebooks with the best of what I learned, which included space for mindmaps, questions to be researched later, etc.). It’s not learning for the sake of increasing knowledge that I’m drawn to. Rather, I’m fascinated with how we can find information, retain it, and recall it, and (most importantly) make it useful… and how we can do that more effectively. From those years of study, I still have a sort of “thinking playbook” that I use everyday to help me learn and strategize in my business.

So it’s no surprise that I was magnetically drawn to this TED talk about learning by Tim Ferriss. I’m not a big Tim Ferriss fan but I do particularly like his learning methodology, which makes a lot of sense and can be applied across multiple disciplines. Check it out for yourself, here. And I’ve given some notes below on Tim’s key thoughts with the DiSSS acronym he uses throughout his talk.



  • Take a large topic and break it down
  • Identify why you might fail before you even start. Ask: “What are the reasons I have quit in the past?” What are the reasons that other people have failed?” << Avoid those problems for the first 5 sessions. Once you practice for the first 5 "sessions" (even if those sessions are short) you can turn it into a habit.


  • Apply the 80/20 principle. Try to find the 20% of the techniques that produce 80% of results.


  • What if I did things in the opposite order?
  • What if I omitted what people tell me are best practices?
  • Do “no stakes” practice that won’t hurt or cost.


  • Build incentives and disincentives into what you do.

Keep things simple and try to remove things rather than add things.

What do you want to learn to do better? Can you use Tim Ferriss’ learning hack to help you learn that skill more effectively?

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.

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