People never stop learning. Many start out by thinking they will finally reach a point when they no longer need to learn, but that’s not the case. Even those who reach the highest level in a profession or hobby will have to continue learning. Progress is happening at a very fast rate these days, and not keeping up often means failing. So how do you keep up with fast-paced progress when learning something takes so much of your time? Here are several ways to speed up your learning process and get ahead.
1. Pen and Paper
Yes, start writing and taking notes the old fashioned way. It might seem inefficient and unproductive at first. However, writing by hand allows information to pass through you and you will retain it by using your own words on paper. Typing and copying information on a computer is too fast and your brain won’t properly absorb and retain the data.
2. Short Sessions
Don’t spend hours without pause burning yourself out. Cramming a massive amount of information all at once might help for a short period of time, but you will quickly forget what you learned. Break the learning process into a string of short study sessions with pauses in between. Allow your brain to soak in the information and process it through valuable notes and through discussion.
Best way to do this is to study and take notes after a class or a lesson. Taking in a small amount of data, practicing it and repeating it over time will solidify it in your memory. It may be difficult at first to discipline yourself, but short study sessions will also improve your motivation to learn.
3. Mnemonic Device
Remember how you learned the alphabet as a kid? The alphabet song is a great way to teach children the alphabet because humans memorize easier through patterns and associations. That silly ABC song is actually a useful mnemonic device that helps you retain that information. Using this method you simplify and compress information in order to retain it for long periods of time.
4. Take a Break
Don’t overload your brain with too much information at once. For example, this overload is what happens to students who zone out during a long, exhausting class. Trying to take in so much information without a pause will cause stress and that will lead to the “zone out” effect that everyone experiences at some point.
The best way to combat brain overload is to take a short break every time you feel like you’re losing focus. This doesn’t mean you should take a nap. All it takes is shifting your focus somewhere else. Take five to ten-minute break doing something else and then get back to your learning activity.
5. Make Connections
Connect the unknown with what you already know and understand. Trying to learn something new by memorizing and forcing yourself to take in new knowledge won’t stick for long. Understand the new principles you are studying and memorize them by finding something in common with old knowledge that you already possess.