Learning is the foundation of society. Ironically, school never taught us how to learn.
This post is a guide to getting over your learning block by showing you simple ways to learn faster.
1.Saying it out loud!
It’s so easy to miss things when you’re reading, especially if you’re doing it silently in your head. But when you say what you’re reading out loud, your brain will get a chance to process the information and make it more memorable later.
In fact, studies show that saying something out loud improves your retention of it by 30%. If you can’t remember what you just read, try repeating it out loud.
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2. Drink more water
Drinking water is essential for physical and mental health. It helps you feel better, perform better, and stay healthy.
But did you know that dehydration is a major contributor to cognitive function?
In fact, it’s bad enough that it can cause memory loss and even dementia—which is why so many studies have found that drinking more water can help you learn faster.
Aim to drink 2-4 liters a day! Keep a water bottle near you so you don’t forget to drink enough.
3. Creating Mnemonics
When it comes to remembering things, mnemonics are a great way to help you learn faster. They can also be a fun way to help you remember important information.
For example, if you’re trying to remember how to tune a guitar, try using the EADGBE tuning: Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears.
You can create your own mnemonic when trying to remember information. It’s helpful to have several different ones so that when one doesn’t work, you can choose another one that does.
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4. Writing instead of typing
When it comes to learning, we live in a world of technology. But there’s always more than one way to skin a cat.
A study conducted by University College London’s Centre for Language Learning found that writing is better for recall and critical thinking than typing. That’s great news if you’re looking for a way to improve your memory and attention span—but maybe not so great if you just want to get your work done.
So if you don’t have time to write notes by hand, what can you do? Try using pen and paper instead of typing. Studies show that taking notes this way helps you learn faster than typing on your keyboard (and they’re easier to keep track of).
5. Changing your approach
86 volunteers were asked to learn a computer-based skill in 2 separate sessions.
The volunteers in Group A learned the task exactly the same way in both sessions. The volunteers in Group B learned the task slightly differently in the second session.
So why did Group B learn more quickly? The answer is because they engaged with the task differently. They were more likely to try different approaches and take risks, which helped them learn faster.
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Remember these 4 learning styles:
• Visual: observing, seeing things in pictures or diagrams
• Auditory: hearing and listening to things, following instructions and instructions from others
• Kinesthetic (touch): touching, feeling and manipulating materials and objects
• Reading and writing of texts.
6. Reward yourself for learning
When we learn something new, the brain releases dopamine. That’s a chemical that makes us feel good and motivates us to keep going. But what does it do for our brains? Dopamine is also responsible for making us crave certain things—like adventure, food, or even work! And when you’re studying something you want to learn more about, it can be hard not to want to do more of it in order to get those dopamine rushes.
So how do you make learning more fun? Make your rewards more compelling! Some potential rewards might include: Netflix, video games, or even a healthy snack.
If you work on something that’s part of your job at work (for example, if you manage a team), this could mean setting aside time each day where you reward yourself with some downtime after the work day is done.
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7. Follow “Study, Sleep, Study” routine
It’s a fact: sleep is essential for learning. When you’re well-rested, your brain can process information more efficiently—and the more efficiently you process information, the more effectively you’ll retain it.
So how can you get more sleep? We’ve put together this science-backed routine that will help you learn faster and retain more information:
• Study a subject for a few hours in the afternoon/evening
• Sleep for 8 hours
• Resume studying for a few hours in the morning
One experiment showed this system increased retention by 33%.
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(Based on a twitter thread by Johnny Brown)
Bashir Ahmad is a medical student working as a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager for Pakscience, Scientia Pakistan and many other platforms. Tap on the social media links below to connect with him.