How to learn smarter
Learn and retain things quicker
Fast Company’s Stephanie Vozza explores ways to learn and retain things quicker in her article, Six Brain Hacks To Learn Anything Faster.
“Being a quick learner can give you an even greater edge,” she writes. “Science proves there are six ways you can learn and retain something faster.
Here’s a summary of her findings:
- Teach someone else (or just pretend to). If you imagine that you’ll need to teach someone else the material or task you are trying to grasp, you can speed up your learning and remember more.
- Learn in short bursts of time. Experts at the Louisiana State University’s Center for Academic Success suggest dedicating 30-50 minutes to learning new material.
- Take notes by hand. While it’s faster to take notes on a laptop, using a pen and paper will help you learn and comprehend better.
- Use the power of mental spacing
According to author Benedict Carey, learning is like watering a lawn. “Spacing out the watering during the week will keep the lawn greener over time.”
- Take a study nap. Downtime is important when it comes to retaining what you learn, and getting sleep in between study sessions can boost your recall up to six months later.
- Change it up. When learning a new motor skill, changing the way you practice it can help you master it faster.
“In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.”
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