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10 Effective Ways To Make You A Faster Learner

10 Effective Ways To Make You A Faster Learner

The importance of learning cannot be underestimated. Learning empowers us to fulfill our ideas and realize our full potential. The speed of gaining new knowledge is practically as important as its volume. Who wouldn’t love to remember tons of information as quickly as possible? If you want to start learning faster, you need a new approach towards the process which would enable you to comprehend the essence of the matter and relate it with new concepts you encounter. The following 10 tips will help you do that.

1. Analyze your learning style.

Before you can start experimenting with different studying methods, you need to understand what type of learner you are.

  • Is your memory associated to sound? Maybe you can remember what you were reading when a particular song was playing? If this is your case, then you fall into the category of auditory learners. If you want to start studying more efficiently, then it would be wise to record the lectures and listen to them instead of reading textbooks.
  • Do you relate information to visual content? If you are a visual learner, you should implement images, graphs, charts, infographics, colorful lists, flashcards, and other types of visual content when you study.
  • If your learning style is not auditory or visual, then you might be a physical learner. Some students have too much energy; they tap their feet or play with a pen during lectures. A walk before a lecture will calm your nerves down. You can try studying/listening to audio lectures during a walk. That will help you remember the information more quickly.

2. Use the right EdTech tools.

Technology has the power of making everything easier. There are plenty of websites, online tools, and smartphone/tablet apps that will boost your skills of planning, writing, time management, brainstorming, etc.

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One way of improving your productivity is using flashcards. You can make your own cards, but you can also download pre-made kits online. StudyBlue is one of the best online destinations when it comes to creating and discovering flashcards from all areas of study. If you are looking for a tool that makes the process of brainstorming more effective, then you should try PapersGear. You also need the SelfControl app, which will eliminate all distractions when you need to stay focused. Quizlet is another website you should bookmark; it offers study tools that will transform the learning process into a fun activity. Notella is an app that will help you take quick notes at any time. Brainscape is an educational platform that makes complex subjects easy by relying on cognitive science. Finally, you should also try Dragon Dictation, especially if you are an audio learner.

3. Train your brain to accept new information.

Efficient studying is a habit. Your brain needs constant training if you want to improve your focus and complete complex tasks without taking breaks. One way to achieve this goal is to create a private learning space in your home. You’ll also need a specific time of day that you’ll devote to studying. That will make your brain ready to accept the information it gets, so you’ll notice you’re starting to learn much faster by the day.

4. Get some exercise.

You are aware of the fact that physical activity is good for your body, but your brain needs it too! Light exercise, such as yoga, can help you learn much faster. If you are inactive throughout the day, your body will want to move, so it will be difficult for you to stay focused. If, on the other hand, you canalize your energy through light training sessions, you will be ready to study productively.

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5. Work on the ambiance.

If your roommate constantly invites friends over for a beer, you won’t be able to study no matter how hard you try. Students who want to learn quickly need a quiet, distraction-free environment that won’t disturb the mind in any way. Such a peaceful place will set you in learning mode as soon as you find yourself in it.

6. Take a lot of notes.

Only few people are capable of remembering information as they read it. If you don’t belong to this category of privileged learners, then you absolutely need to start taking notes. This simple learning method will force you to think about the essence of the material, but it will also give you a nice framework that will help you review the things you’ve learned.
Write down only the most important information. That will help you remember all the other things you’ve learned.

7. Make mind maps.

Mind maps are among the best tools to speed up the learning process. Your mind will process information effectively if you create a visual representation of the things you’re about to learn. You can create a nice mind map in the old-school way: take a large sheet of paper and organize all facts and explanations. Use pictures, note-cards, and other symbols you can think of. Group similar items together and connect them with colorful pens. Of course, you can also use an online mind mapping tool if you want to save yourself some time.

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8. Experiment with memorization methods.

Memorizing is often misused in the process of studying. Some students memorize whole sentences, paragraphs and lectures without grasping their essence. However, memorization can also be useful when you need to learn definitions and classifications really quickly. Don’t avoid this technique if you want to fill your brain with information without wasting any time.

9. Find the right context.

Memorization works solely in times of urgency. If you want to learn in the most effective manner, then you need to have context for information. Find an aspect that’s interesting for you; try to research for related information, and you’ll discover the joys of learning. With time, this practice will make you a faster learner.

10. Study every day.

It will take some time before you get used to a daily studying routine, but your mind will eventually grasp the habit. The more frequently you study, the less time it will take for you to remember the things you read. If you start studying as soon as possible after you cover new concepts in class, it won’t take long at all for you to get ready for an exam. Now that sounds really good, doesn’t it?

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Featured photo credit: GotCreddit via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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