Richard Feynman is a Nobel Prize winner in Physics and probably one of most popular physicists of the 20th century. Besides being very good in physics, he was also very good at teaching things. Among other things, he kept a notebook in which he would write about the topics in a particular field he was interested in and then try to learn it as quickly as possible.
As his biographer, James Gleick explains:
“[He] opened a fresh notebook. On the title page he wrote: NOTEBOOK OF THINGS I DON’T KNOW ABOUT. For the first but not last time he reorganized his knowledge. He worked for weeks at disassembling each branch of physics, oiling the parts, and putting them back together, looking all the while for the raw edges and inconsistencies. He tried to find the essential kernels of each subject.”
The famous blogger and computer science professor at George Town University, Cal Newport has shared in a recent blog post that he has also started to use this method. Besides that, he tells that he had encountered some very productive researchers during his post graduate studies who have had a common trait of being hungry about learning new things. Having this type of notebook seems a plausible means of maintaining that habit.
Feynman had also a very effective method of learning new things which can also be used while learning new things and writing them down in this type of notebook.
Of course there are a lot more things that we do not know in comparison to the ones that we have had the opportunity to learn up to this moment. It is also true that we will not be able to learn all the things that are out there. However, we can focus on a specific area and learn as much as we can, so that we can become more valuable assets in the teams that we are part of or working at different projects.