Use it or lose it

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As a young parent, you may want a promotion or a more enjoyable work life. In both cases, I say becoming more experienced in your job may contribute to reaching those goals.

Repetition embeds information in your mind like repeatedly stroking a magnet over a metal aligns its magnetic domains.

And what is experience but knowledge accumulated over the years? Experience is like having a bag of facts and tricks ready to apply to each situation, whereas the inexperienced stands scratching their head holding an empty bag.

However, accumulating that knowledge does not depend on learning alone. People tend to forget as well: in our analogy, the bag has a hole and something put freshly into the bag eventually falls out through the hole. Luckily though, it takes only a handful of timely reminders to keep something in the bag for life.

You will not need reminders for everything, as many things come up regularly in the workplace already, acting as reminders in themselves, and you never forget those. However, other things come up less frequently, and when they do you spend time looking things up again. In such cases, remembering that little bit of knowledge would go a long way sidestepping these time bandits in future. So, when you do fill your bag of knowledge with these pearls of wisdom, ‘patch the hole’ with a few timely reminders.

There are ways of scheduling such a reminder automatically near the day on which that pearl is about to slip out of the bag. By using those timely reminders, you’ll build your mastery of that knowledge and, once you master it, the software won’t remind you anymore. With this digital aid, you’ll build up expertise faster, building on solid foundations instead of quicksand. By ‘patching the hole’, your bag of knowledge will grow and grow.

With this legitimate cheat, you may get your work done more efficiently and enjoyably and may improve your chances of gaining promotion faster.