Similar to learning prefix/suffix and transformation of words in Latin derived languages, it's quite important to break down a Chinese character (in Traditional Chinese, 繁體字) into different components.
You will find most of the characters are constructed according to 六書 principles. Also Google for other resources on 六書.
For example, in 葉(leaf) 碟(disk) 蝶(butterfly) the common 枼 component provides for the pronunciation and meaning (thin and flat) for the character.
The 廾，石，虫 indicates the word relates to plants, something hard, insects respectively.
Knowing these rules helps you to learn these three words with less effort.