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Brain Power Level Up: 8 Ways To Remember Absolutely Everything You Learn

Brain Power Level Up: 8 Ways To Remember Absolutely Everything You Learn

Many people wish they had a better memory for revising and learning, but through using only a few tricks you can vastly improve your memory. The mind has a phenomenal ability to store and recall huge amounts of information. Anyone can improve their learning abilities and their memory; check out these 8 ways to remember absolutely everything you learn below.

1. Summarize every paragraph you read

After you have finished reading a paragraph, write a small summary of the paragraph in the margins of the page. This means you have to process the paragraph, make sense of it in your mind, then rephrase it in a way you can immediately understand.

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2. Pace yourself

If you put yourself under pressure to learn a lot in a small amount of time it is very unlikely that you will succeed. The pressure will make you feel stressed and you may struggle to stay focused. Set realistic goals that you can actually stick to so you only have to worry about learning.

3. Remove all distractions

The world we live in is filled with distractions, from social media, to your phone, to an open-plan office. You will learn best if you shut out all distractions, so switch off your internet and mobile and sit in a room alone. It is also helpful to switch off any music, or replace it with music without lyrics. It isn’t enough to say yes to learning – you also need to say no to the distractions.

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4. Use repetition

Write down everything you learn at least three times. This may seem excessive but it means you are far more likely to remember everything. Writing out facts will help you to recall them quickly, and it will help you to realize what you already know so you can focus on the facts you don’t know as well.

5. Use visuals

Many people are unaware of the link between vision and memory, but you are much more likely to remember something if you associate an image with it. For instance, if you are introduced to 10 new people over a telephone, you may only remember a name or two. However, if you were introduced to the same people at a party, you are more likely to remember more people because you have an image associated with them.

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To help you to remember everything you learn, visualize what you are learning about happening in front of you. The image will stick in your mind, making it easier for you to recall the information.

6. Learn about things you enjoy

It is much easier for us to remember things that we enjoy rather than things that bore us. For example, it is very likely that you still know all of the words to an engaging song you haven’t heard for years. If you are learning about something that you find dull it will be tough for you to become genuinely interested, but it is likely you can actually make it interest you.

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Ask yourself these questions; why do I find this dull? How can I make it interesting? Will learning this benefit me? Can I use this knowledge to improve my situation?

7. Make sure you get enough sleep

How much sleep you get will determine how well you learn and remember things. Instead of staying up all night to study, make sure you get a full night’s sleep so you can be refreshed before you start learning. This means you are more likely to stay focused and remember what you learn.

8. Connect what you’re learning about with something you already know about

The more mental connections you can attach to a piece of information, the more likely you are to remember. When you learn something new, try to link it to something you already know. This will make it easier for you to recall the information.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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