After years of observing my own behavior and trying to figure out what makes me tick, I think I have a pretty good idea of how I best learn, and how I usually approach work.
Two analogies I’d like to use to illustrate how I learn and do work: a sponge and a turbo. Let me elaborate.
Simply put, I learn like a sponge. I slowly absorb information over long periods of time, and a lot of times, I don’t even realize that I’m taking in information. I turn these topics over and over in my mind until I feel I’ve understood how it works or why it’s so. The result is that I eventually acquire not only breadth, but depth of knowledge on different subjects and topics.
Whenever I encounter a piece of new information, I automatically try to link it to the archives in my mind, and I’ll try to pull up relevant details to help me make sense of the new information. People have called me a human encyclopedia, because I’ll spout off the most random facts related to what we’re talking about. The result is that I become very well-versed in topics I’m interested in, and I’ll continue taking in new information to build on old information.
I like to think that the manner in which I approach doing work is similar to how a car turbocharger works. If you’re familiar with cars, turbocharged cars experience something called turbo lag – the period of time it takes for the turbo to get up to speed and provide the actual boost. Funny video here if you’d like to see a real-life demonstration.
When I first start on a new project or work, I experience some turbo lag. At the start, I’m taking in new information, trying to make sense of everything, and figuring out the best methods and ways to approach the issues. Once I’m up to speed, a flurry of activity ensues, and I do the work quickly, efficiently, and accurately. It might bother some people, because they mistakenly think I’m not really doing anything, when in fact I am. Turbochargers do work, just a bit differently – but the results are typically solid.
There you go, how Glen best learns and does work.
Part of a blogging marathon series. Post 1 here.