What is Repetition Learning and How Can You Use It? | The Happy Journals

What is Repetition Learning and How Can You Use It?

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Remember when you were at school and it felt like you were repeating the same things over and over? This is because the power of repetition is such and important part of learning. Repetition learning is surprisingly useful!

Disclosure: If you purchase anything from links in this post or any other, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not.

Whenever we try to learn something, we need to go through certain processes. As adults we forget how to learn and tend to give up very quickly. But learning to use repetition learning is a really powerful thing to do. We don't know everything so we should aim for deeper learning, lifelong learning, find activities for learning, embrace creative learning, always be learning for personal development

The problem is, as adults, we sometimes forget about the power of repetition. I have worked with and known a lot of people who try something new once, find they can’t do it or it is too hard, and move on. The fact is, if we could all do everything on the first attempt, we’d all be out of work.

What is Repetition Learning?

Repetition learning is a powerful tool that helps us learn new things and master new skills. When someone takes piano lessons, for example, they will be given a series of exercises to repeat. If they are brand new at piano, the chances are that their first attempts will be awful. But through repetition they should be able to start to master the first few exercises. After a while, they get more difficult exercises to practice. And so it continues.

The same goes for learning a foreign language also. This is a skill that also requires repetition. By repeating unfamiliar words or using them in sentences, it will become more natural. Languages can rarely be learned unless people study the words. And they repeat them until they understand what they mean. Trust me, I’ve tried! I tried to wing it through my French exams at school - big mistake! I won’t tell you what grade I got.

In sport, repetition comes in the form of drills. Coaches give the players a series of drills to repeat until a skill becomes second nature. Even when the skill becomes second nature, the sportsperson will continue the drills. I swam internationally for ten years and I cannot tell you how many turns and starts I practiced, day in day out. It is a lot!

How can you use repetition learning?

Whenever we try to learn something, we need to go through certain processes. As adults we forget how to learn and tend to give up very quickly. But learning to use repetition learning is a really powerful thing to do. We don't know everything so we should aim for deeper learning, lifelong learning, find activities for learning, embrace creative learning, always be learning for personal development

I would say that the biggest problems with repetition is people get bored. We all adore new experiences and all the excitement that comes with them. But, when we must repeat tasks, often we would rather be doing something else. On top of this, we like to feel confident that all our efforts will pay off. If this confidence isn’t there, we are likely to feel bored quicker. Because we cannot anticipate the excitement we’ll feel when it does pay off.

To help reduce the boredom of repetitive tasks, it might help to try to limit the time spent on them. It’s better to practice something in short durations consistently. More so than it is to try and put several hours into the repetitive tasks. The key to making the power of repetition work for you is consistency. 

It is quite alright to practice your new skills for 15 or 20 minutes per day and then step away from it. Although, if you wanted to, you could play around with increasing intervals of time spent practicing.

When I practiced all my thousands of starts and turns in the pool, I would never do this for hours at a time. Instead, I would dedicate 10 to 15 minutes to them in the middle of a training session.

Another issue that may occur with repetition is that we might use it as a fall back when we don’t need to. By this I mean, when you repeat something to the point that you get good at it, you need to try to advance to a new level. Instead, it is common for people to continue repeating the same task at the same level. If this happens, it is because you’ve become comfortable, which is great but will not help you progress.

Try to focus on how you felt when you mastered the previous task. Hopefully you'll look forward to mastering the next one!

Sometimes, you may need to revisit a previously mastered skill or previously learned material. You may find you are a little rusty when you revisit it. But the good news is it won’t take much to get it back by using repetition learning

Maybe I’ll head back to the pool and try to master my starts and turns again. Having said that, it has taken 6 years to get rid of the stench of chlorine that use to follow me around everywhere!

Whenever we try to learn something, we need to go through certain processes. As adults we forget how to learn and tend to give up very quickly. But learning to use repetition learning is a really powerful thing to do. We don't know everything so we should aim for deeper learning, lifelong learning, find activities for learning, embrace creative learning, always be learning for personal development

Disclosure: If you purchase anything from links in this post or any other, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not.

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