Modern life more and more demands from a person the ability to learn quickly and master new skills. Results in the most important spheres of life, and success in life in general, and self-esteem, and self-realization, and much more depend on this. This skill gives a person quite tangible advantages over other people and allows him to reach new heights. And today we want to share with you some useful ideas on the topic of fast learning.
General guidelines for fast learning
If we analyze the personality traits of successful people, we can single out one characteristic feature: regardless of how old they are and what they do, they know how to quickly learn new things and never allow the lack of any competencies to complicate their life or prevent them from achieving success. According to scientists, seven basic guidelines will help anyone start learning faster.
Divide the process into short intervals
While studying something, you shouldn’t try to learn everything in one sitting. It is much more effective to learn anything if you divide the process into small intervals, for example, 40-50 minutes. Exercising less is unproductive, and more is too tiring for the brain. It has been scientifically proven that continuous work is exhausting on the brain, and if you do not give it a rest, it will simply stop receiving information. This can cause severe fatigue and burnout. For this reason, take breaks for 10-15 minutes every hour, and then start again. After a short break, productivity and concentration will be much higher.
Diversify your learning
Oddly enough, the continuous memorization and repetition of the same do not guarantee effective memorization. Today there are many different ways to remember information: refocusing, thoughtful reading, writing down interesting ideas, etc. Combine new techniques with the way you are accustomed to learning, and you will be memorized much more. An experiment was even conducted on this topic: the students were divided into two groups and given the task to master the topic. Students who used the same teaching method (for example, reading) all the time learned the material worse than students who used different methods. As for the techniques themselves, you can read about them in our articles “How to learn to better absorb what you read” and “7 rules for memorizing information.”
Yes, record-keeping such as notes is practiced by many people today. But most do it on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. However, experts recommend doing the old-fashioned way – using paper and a pen. When we write something down by hand, we not only use motor memory but also delve into information much better. But the constant appeal to different gadgets, of course, is useful, but, is just a record of words and sentences. Besides, it is not very convenient to keep records for training in electronic devices, plus there are a lot of distractions – notifications, messages, emails, etc.
Give up multitasking
It is hard enough to achieve maximum productivity level if you do several things at the same time. Not only is the attention constantly rushing, and there is practically no concentration, so also none of the cases will be performed efficiently. If you want to learn faster, forget about everything: turn off all your gadgets, put your phone on “vibration”, tell your family not to distract you, etc. Even if you devote 15 minutes a day to training, nothing else should exist for you during those 15 minutes.
Rest and sleep
To fully assimilate new information (both knowledge and skills), the brain needs periodic rest, including sleep. Psychological Science experimented not long ago. Volunteers were selected for him and divided into two groups. Both groups had to learn to translate words from French into Swahili over two sessions. The first group studied on the same day in the morning and the evening, and the second – in the evening of one day and the morning of the second (as you know, there was a dream between classes). As a result, the results of the second group were 25% better than the first. So if you want to learn faster, be sure to rest and sleep, you can sleep even at short intervals throughout the day (see our article “Alternative ways to sleep”).
Change the scenery
Changing the learning environment works the same way as changing teaching methods – the person learns faster and better. Try different places: at home, in the park on a bench, on the beach early in the morning, in a cafe, in a library, etc. Experiment and monitor your feelings to find out which environment suits you best. Some people concentrate better in complete silence, others – among people, still others – to the sounds of nature. Look for your “magic formula”. Among other things, certain people, objects, and events may be associated with some information and skills, and this will help you memorize and assimilate them much better.
One of the best ways to learn something is to start teaching it to someone else. Even if you are not yet very well versed in the topic or have not mastered the skill enough, when demonstrating knowledge and skills, information, in any case, will be structured and better deposited in the head, and movements will be honed and brought to automatism. You can teach one of your friends, colleagues, or family members, and if there is no real person nearby, you can imagine the interlocutor and tell, explain or show something to this fictional subject. Thus, you will greatly increase the percentage of assimilation of information.
We also think that everyone who wants to learn faster needs to learn a very important principle of learning, which, like the above recommendations, can be safely called basic. But we will not talk about it – it is better to watch a short video on this topic.
The learning process does not end either with graduation from school or with graduation from the institute. It continues throughout life. Driving a car, mastering computer programs, raising children, and much more – the human brain receives, processes, and absorbs new information all the time. But the speed of these processes is changing – if in childhood we learned knowledge and mastered many skills very quickly, then with age it becomes more difficult to learn. Therefore, next, we want to talk about how to make the brain work better at almost any age.
Brain prevention or how to learn faster at all times
The brain is a complex mechanism. It is often even compared to a very powerful computer. And if we draw an analogy, it is easy to understand that, like any machine or computer, it requires systematic maintenance. Here are several habits you can master to make learning easier and faster:
- Sports activities. As numerous scientific studies have shown, physical activity helps not only improve health and train the body but also improve brain performance. When you feel that your brain is overworked, take a break and go for a run, do a simple exercise, or swim in the pool. After just 15 minutes, you will notice that you have become better concentrated, and your thinking has gained clarity.
- Meditation. This practice has been known since very ancient times, and people have used it both for relaxation, relieving stress and calming thoughts, and to improve memory, concentration, and other abilities that are very important in life in general and in learning in particular.
- Drinking water. You probably know perfectly well why you need to drink water yourself (if not, read our article “10 reasons to drink water every day”). Here we will only say that scientists from the University of East London have found that regular drinking water improves concentration and solving complex problems. The Daily Mail published research results according to which thirsty people think 14% slower than those who regularly drink water.
- Omega-3 intake. These acids are simply irreplaceable, because normalize nervous processes and restore them if they have been disturbed. These include memory, speed of thinking, and attention. So if you want your brain to work better, eat walnuts, pumpkin seeds, halibut, sardines, mackerel, and salmon. And if you like salads, add flaxseed oil to them – it’s tasty and healthy.
- Healthy sleep. And once again we are talking about sleep. You just need to get enough sleep for the brain to function stably and efficiently. Thanks to sleep, the speed of perception increases, the ability to make decisions and make correct conclusions improves, and a high level of intelligence is provided. By the way, if you reread a lecture or a poem or repeat important material before going to bed, the information will be better fixed in your memory during the night.
- Hobbies and hobbies. As it has been said more than once, constantly engaging in some one’s activity is not at all useful and even harmful. You need to be distracted to give your brain proper rest. And experts recommend switching to some interesting activities. Try to find a hobby or hobby for yourself that involves concentration and coordination. An example would be juggling. There has even been researching showing that regular juggling has a positive effect on brain function. In general, you can do some kind of interesting intellectual work, for example, solving charades, riddles, puzzles, guessing crosswords and scanwords, games to develop thinking, etc.
- Fun and entertainment. It has been known for hundreds of years that laughter not only improves mood and raises vitality, but promotes the development of creativity, neutralizes negative emotions, helps to find solutions to many problems and even faster to achieve goals.
Such simple brain prevention will help you to always be positive and to cope more successfully with various tasks, including educational ones. However, the learning process can be improved many times over in other ways.
Optimization of the learning process
Learning quickly is not as difficult as it might seem. This does not require years of training, studying sophisticated techniques, and comprehending the practice of spiritual growth. It is enough just to approach the learning process with your head and build it properly. What this means, you will now find out.
Use this set of recommendations so you can optimize your learning process:
- Warm-up your brain. Before diving into the learning curve, have some fun to get in the mood for work. Just pump your brains a little. To do this, you can solve a couple of simple tasks, remember a poem, choose a dozen synonyms for a word, etc. Just as the body needs to warm up before exercising, so the brain needs to warm up before you start using it.
- Arrange the space. The environment in which you study is important. You should be comfortable, and to create this very comfort you need to work clean and tidy. If you study at home, clean up the rubble, remove all unnecessary from the table, optimize the workspace. Do not neglect what we also talked about – a change of scenery. The only thing you shouldn’t do is try to learn something while lying in bed. The subconscious mind automatically associates it with sleep, and even if you are determined, it will be difficult for you to concentrate, and over time you will even want to sleep.
- Cut back on material. You are more likely to take notes. But you shouldn’t write “sheets” of the text in your notebook. For example, Tim Ferris, author of several books on effective teaching and working, says that when taking notes and memorizing, the material should be kept as short as possible. It is best if all important information is compressed to a volume of 1-2 pages using abbreviations, symbols, and rhymes. It is no less effective to accompany notes with mental maps, diagrams, graphs, and tables – they help to minimize the amount of data, and are much easier to perceive, easier to remember, and more accurately reproduced.
- Use different learning formats. The more diverse the sources from which you draw knowledge, the greater the percentage of their assimilation. This is where the principle of activating different parts of the brain comes into force – if all of them are involved and work in concert, then the information will be perceived and remembered better and faster. Read books, textbooks, and articles, watch videos, listen to audio, take notes, type, and speak aloud. After a few hours, you will notice that you have begun to understand and remember a lot more.
- Apply metacognition. The presented term can be characterized as a person’s ability to be aware of his consciousness. This means that you analyze your thought process, determine the ability to perform tasks, set and evaluate goals that may be suitable for this. If you can learn as quickly as you would like, if there are any problems, find ways to fix all this: master new methods, diversify the process, contact a specialist, read forums, etc. The better you know your information perception, the more productive your learning will be.
- Link knowledge together. The information that you learn on a topic is most likely not new, but simply complements what you already have. Therefore, new knowledge should be regarded not as something isolated and fundamentally new, but try to correlate it with the knowledge already obtained. If you develop the habit of mentally matching and linking what you’re learning with what’s already learned, you can learn more effectively and faster. Theory and practice – all the experience that you have should add up to one big holistic picture in your mind. It is much easier to isolate certain information from it than to try to find individual particles of information.
- Project into practice. Many people make the mistake of completely overlooking the scope of their knowledge. As a result, they become useless baggage, are overwritten and forgotten – so you have to learn, cram, endlessly repeat. If you need to remember something for a long time, try projecting what you know into the realm of action. Formulas and theorems are easily verified in solving problems, facts are established through reference to encyclopedias or empirically, skills are honed through multiple repetitions. If you know where and how you can apply something, and even more so if you try to do it yourself, the knowledge will be firmly fixed in your memory.
- Check yourself. Don’t wait for a test, test, or exam. As soon as you have learned, studied, learned something, immediately proceed to self-examination. Come up with tests for yourself, ask your acquaintances, family, and friends to arrange a small survey for you, use the Internet – today you can find questions and tests in various directions there. This approach will show you your weak points, you will understand what else you need to learn, what to master, what to practice a little more. It is not just rote memorization that is important, but understanding and deep assimilation. And self-examination contributes to this in the best possible way.
- Study with someone. Learning or mastering something can be quite boring. Study at a school or college – study with classmates and classmates, improve your skills at work – involve a colleague in your studies, master something just for yourself – interest your friend or another half in this. Teamwork, even if the team consists of only two people, always argues easier, allows you to better concentrate, to organize the process more efficiently. Besides, having a partner, you can always be distracted for 10-15 minutes, laugh, talk on detached topics.
And, perhaps, the most important advice: never be afraid to learn and start new businesses. Even if something seems difficult and “overwhelming” to you, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. As you know, the master’s work is afraid. Any information can be studied and understood, any skill can be mastered with due diligence. The whole point is in the personal attitude and attitude. If you believe in yourself and strive for success, nothing will stop you. And, of course, develop your abilities, train your brain, increase your intelligence. Self-development will allow you to “pump” your abilities and improve your results.