Jack Milgram 10m 2,428 #learnfast
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Speeding Up Your Retention Process
Are you a high school or college student?
Then you are probably familiar with the tedium of studying. You have to spend hours, days and even weeks surrounded by enormous piles of books that you have to go through in a very short amount of time.
Imagine yourself in the following circumstances:
Deadlines in all your classes are approaching; your assignments are stacking up; your head is aching because of the overwhelming amount of information that pushes your mental capacity to the absolute limit. Now, this is a recipe for a nervous breakdown, not for productive studying.
It gets worse.
After finishing high school and graduating summa cum laude from your college, you might think the days of agonizing studying are over. But be prepared: real learning is just about to begin.
Why is that?
Well, because building a successful career is all about learning new skills as quickly as possible. You can’t go through life with only the set of skills you learned in high school or college; you need to upgrade them as often as possible to be at the top of your game. Constant self-improvement is directly tied to learning new things all the time.
So, what’s the bottom line here?
It’s simple: you will always be a student of something, one way or another. You will always need to learn new skills. There is no limit to perfection.
And to help you boost your learning skills, we have an infographic with 32 awesome techniques that will transform you into a quick learner. Don’t delay and check them out now!
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32 Ways To Learn Faster
1. Have an open discussion
You’ll not only repeat the material you’re trying to remember. You also dig deeper into the subject matter by talking about it with someone else.
Tip: When learning new material, try to remember as many of the details as possible. These can also include Corrections if you’re reviewing previously completed work. Then discuss those details with your classmate or friend to come to certain conclusions or to solve any issues the subject brings up.
2. Start with smaller things
If you can’t make yourself start learning, do it gradually. Start with even the simplest tasks instead of just procrastinating. Do it regularly to develop the Habit.
Tip: Start the process with something very simple. For example, prepare your pen and paper for taking notes (more on this later), and read the assignment. It doesn’t require much effort, but you’ll be already doing something.
3. Teach others
Consider this one and upgraded version of the first tip. But instead of just discussing, try to explain the topic to someone else.
Tip: When teaching someone, you look for key points in the material to make the explanation simpler for the other person. Just let you review them and memorize the vital keep yourself.
4. Learn In Bursts
Studying for several hours in a row can sure be tiring. If you think that this method will help you remember more— it wont. It’s time for a change.
Tip: Take short breaks (around 10 minutes) after every 30 to 50 minutes of learning. Learning sessions that are brief and frequent will allow your brain to digest and memorize new material better.
5. Take handwritten notes
Who’d do this when laptops allow us to do the same thing faster? Well, wait, there’s actually a pretty important reason why you might want to switch to handwriting.
Tip: Take notes by hand. This way, your brain will have more time to comprehend the material instead of just mindlessly transcribing it.
6. Space your studies out
This one goes hand-in-hand with the fourth tip. Even if you’re already learning and bursts, there’s still room for improvement.
Tip: Plan revision sessions sometime after learning the material. Spacing out your studies will give you stronger signals to your brain and help you recall more information than just trying to remember it all at once.
7. Take a nap
Really? Sleep in order to improve learning? That’s right! and they’re science behind it.
Tip: You can either dedicate a bit of free time to a short nap during the day or plan a revision session (spacing, remember?) before going to sleep. It will help you better retain newly-learned material in your memory, without having to relearn anything.
8. Change things up
This is going to be especially useful if you’re learning how to do something. In other words, this tip works great for learning motor skills. But it will also work when learning information (from books, videos, mine maps, or various online resources).
Tip: Afternoon and remembering it, switch to something else and learn that too. You’ll not only recall what you’ve already learned but will also upgrade your capabilities with new knowledge.
9. Assign goals
If you don’t clearly see the point of learning something, set goals for yourself to achieve.
Tip: Don’t just set a goal for the sake of it. Your goals need to name a specific reason that you will achieve if you keep learning. So apart from knowing why you’re learning it, you also have some extra motivation.
Avoid switching between tasks. The problem with multitasking is that you have to refocus each time, which isn’t good for the whole learning process.
Tip: Concentrate on a single task or subject, and dedicate the entirety of the time you scheduled for it. A lack of distractions will allow you to absorb the information more efficiently.
11. Trick yourself
If you think that learning something new is no fun, try and trick yourself into thinking that actually is.
Tip: The power of auto-suggestion is real. Forced positive emotions while learning by faking a smile. Or just keep telling yourself that that thing you’re about to learn is really exciting. You’ll get there eventually.
12. Learn different subjects
This may seem to be the complete opposite of what we said in the 10th tip, but it’s best not to keep learning a single subject for the whole day. It’s all about moderation. And we weren’t saying that you shouldn’t try to learn anything else after you’re done with one subject.
Tip: Choose multiple subjects to learn during the day. Each learning session will bring way better results than if you were to dedicate the whole day to a single subject.
13. Make it simpler to remember
There’s a whole bunch of ways you can make learning easier. It’s up to you to decide which one works best for you.
Tip: Make use of mnemonics and association chains to remember sequences of terms or just important words in our particular order. Associate newly learned material with what you already know, and then you won’t ever forget.
14. Get your worries out of the way
Wearing can be one of the biggest distractions. Don’t let it ruin your learning experience. Leave all those thoughts behind.
Tip: To set yourself free from wearing thoughts, write them down on a piece of paper. This will help you get them out of your head, so they won’t bother you while you’re learning.
15. Test yourself
Passively reading textbooks and looking through your notes. If you want to step up your learning game, you need to take action
Tip: Put your knowledge to the test. Prepare quizzes to check whether or not you understand the key concepts of atopic you’ve learned. Use different sources to come up with varied questions.
16. Read out loud
Absorbing and memorizing important information is easier when you’re reading aloud because you not only see it but also hear it. Just don’t do it for everything you’re trying to learn.
Tip: After reading thing for the first time, highlight the key Concepts and Main thoughts. After you’re done, come back to them and read them. Take a short break and then test whether you’ve memorized everything you need. Repeat the process if you’ve missed anything.
17. Focus on the learning process
Earlier we talked about setting goals. While that’s definitely important and helpful, you still need to pay attention to the process of learning while doing it. Your goals will only determine the reason while you’re studying.
Tip: Set goals before starting to learn something so that you have a clear vision of why you’re doing it, and then get fully involved in the process itself. At this point, thinking of the end result will only act as another distraction.
18. Try speed reading
Some say that speed-reading won’t do you any good. However, reading so we can actually hinder your ability to absorb information properly.
Tip: When you fail at learning a topic, speed read through the information. To get even better results, combine this technique with reading aloud and then come back to rereading the key points later.
19. Use mind maps
Mind maps are a great way to outline the material you want to learn. Because they also show you the relationship between ideas, it’s easier to build connections.
Tip: Take all the key points of the material and put them on a mind map to create a visual overview of the subject you are learning. You’ll be able to manage the whole process easier.
20. Set boundaries for yourself
Too much Freedom can sometimes have a bad influence on your learning. Set a few limits for your own good.
Tip: Set deadlines for specific tasks. Process only one idea at a time. These strategies will bring more order to your learning.
21. Multitask effectively
We said that it’s better not to switch back and forth between multiple tasks. But if you still prefer to multitask, at least do it the right way.
Tip: To multitask effectively, plan your approach beforehand. For instance, you can do research for one topic, and then switch to researching another one. By the time you finish your work, the first topic will be settled, and you’ll have a much clearer understanding of it.
22. Be more positive
When something goes wrong, the last thing you should do is kick and blame yourself for failure. It will only make things worse.
Tip: there’s no need to stress yourself out even more. Have a positive approach, and face any difficulties with an open mind. This attitude will help you avoid anxiety and move forward more effectively.
23. Look things up
It’s okay to get help from the outside. After all, why should you get stuck in one spot just because you can’t recall one tiny detail?
Tip: If you’ve encountered a problem or can’t remember something you’ve learned previously—look it up or search for the solution online. It’s much better than trying to solve it on your own over and over, without any success.
24. Prevent knowledge gaps
By practicing the previous tip, you’ll be able to use the drawback of forgetting something to your advantage.
Tip: Be aware of what you don’t know (or have simply forgotten), and collect all the information that you know. After that, just fill in the gaps by finding and learning the missing pieces of information.
25. Keep asking questions
Be the kid who keeps asking, “why?” no matter what. You’ll see that this tactic connection prove you’re learning.
Tip: By continuously asking questions about every component of your topic, you’ll make the information much more logical, as you’ll get much deeper. As a result, it will be easier to remember.
26. Develop a ritual
Don’t forget to drink hot tea everyday
You need to have a particular sequence of actions that you know will help you get it going. Successfully starting your work flow is important if you want your learning to befast and effective.
Tip: Having a certain ritual will help you develop a habit. While performing it, you’ll be able to focus on upcoming tasks and topics. As a result, you’ll get the most out of your learning process.
27. Be ready to fail
Failure is a part of the learning experience. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Just use it as an opportunity to gain more valuable experience.
Tip: Failure is not the end of the world. Analyze the situation to determine how you got there, and then make the right conclusions. Use this information to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
28. Know why you’re learning
When you’re choosing a subject or skill to learn, you really need to feel excited about it—otherwise, you may decide that it’s not worth learning. If it’s part of your school, college or university program, you have to understand exactly why you need to learn it.
Tip: Pick something that you really want to learn to make the process as enjoyable as possible. If it’s an academic requirement, have a clear understanding of how learning a certain topic or skill will help you or what problems it will solve.
29. Be realistic
This one goes together with setting goals. In fact, being realistic as part of practically every stage of learning process.
Tip: Stay true to yourself, and don’t overestimate your abilities. And four goals that you know you can achieve. The same is true about setting deadlines and deciding on the amount of material you want to learn at once.
30. Take advantage of the pareto principle
This principle is also known as the 80/20 rule. What does it mean? It means that 80% of your results come from just 20% of your effort.
Tip: divide the task of learning something into smaller subtasks. Completing them one by one will bring you those 80% of results. A good example would be learning a couple of chords on the guitar to play hundreds of different songs.
31. Step out of your comfort zone
This doesn’t mean that you have to feel uncomfortable while learning, though. Instead, it simply means that you should push yourself in order to become better at something (but not so hard that you get overwhelmed by the pressure or difficulty of the challenge).
Tip: Stop repeating something you already know over and over. Move forward, even if it requires putting in more effort than you expected. Your success rate should be around 60 to 80%. If it’s higher—the challenges to easy; if it’s lower—consider turning the difficulty down.
32. Ask for Feedback
An outside opinion never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s important to get an evaluation of your efforts from somebody else in order to find out how to develop further.
Tip: Ask a teacher, classmate, friend, relative to tell you what they think about your work. When learning something, you’ll be able to connect the feedback with what you’re doing and then decide what the next step should be.
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