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How To Remember 90% Of Everything You Learn

How To Remember 90% Of Everything You Learn

Wish you could learn faster?

Whether you’re learning Spanish, a new instrument, or a new sport, we could all benefit from accelerated learning. But the problem is, there’s only so much time in the day.

The key to accelerated learning is not just putting in more hours, but maximizing the effectiveness of the time spent learning.

The Bucket And Water Analogy

Let’s say you were to fill up a bucket with water. Most buckets should not have any problem retaining the water inside, until it starts overflowing at the top.

Leather_bucket_of_a_well

    But in reality, this isn’t how our brains function. In fact, most of the information that enters our brain leaks out eventually. Instead of looking at our brain’s memory as a bucket that retains everything, we should treat it for what it is: a leaking bucket.

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    leaking-bucket

      While the leaky bucket analogy may sound like a negative connotation, it’s perfectly normal. Unless you were born with a photographic memory, our brains weren’t designed to remember every fact, information, or experience that we go through in our lives.

      How To Remember 90% Of Everything You Learn

      The development of the Learning Pyramid in the 1960’s — widely attributed to the NTL Institute in Bethel, Maine— outlined how humans learn.

      As research shows, it turns out that humans remember:

      5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture (i.e. university/college lectures)
      10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading (i.e. books, articles)
      20% of what they learn from audio-visual (i.e. apps, videos)
      30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
      50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
      75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
      90% of what they learn when they use immediately (or teach others)

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      Learning-Pyramid-synap (2)

        Yet how do most of us learn?

        Books, classroom lectures, videos — non-interactive learning methods that results in 80-95% of information going in one ear and leaking out the other.

        The point here is that instead of forcing our brains on how to remember more information with “passive” methods, we should focus our time, energy, and resources on “participatory” methods that have proven to deliver more effective results, in less time.

        This means that:

        • If you want to learn how to speak a foreign language, you should focus on speaking with native speakers and gain immediate feedback (instead of mobile apps)
        • If you want to get in shape, you should work with a personal fitness trainer (instead of watching Youtube workout videos)
        • If you want to learn a new instrument, hire a local music teacher in your city

        Ultimately, it comes down to this…

        Time Or Money?

        How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t have time to do X…”

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        I’m certainly guilty of this myself, as I’ve made excuse after excuse about the lack of time I have in my life.

        But time is the greatest equalizer of all. No matter who we are, where we are in the world, or how much we strive for efficiency, there are only 24 hours in each day. Every single minute is unique, and once it’s gone, it can never be regained, unlike money.

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          “You May Delay, But Time Will Not.”
          ― Benjamin Franklin

          So if we all have 24 hours in a day, how do we explain the success stories of young millionaires that started from nothing, or a full-time student going from beginner to conversation fluency in Spanish after just 3.5 months? They learned how to maximize for effectiveness instead of only efficiency.

          Let’s say person A spent one hour learning a language and retained 90% of what they learned. And person B spent nine hours learning and retained 10% of what they learned. Doing simple math, person B spent 9x more time learning than person A, only to retain the same amount of information (A: 1 * 0.9 = B: 9 * 0.1).

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          While the exact numbers can be debated, the lesson is clear. The way to have more time is not to go for small wins, like watching 5-minute YouTube tutorials instead of 15-minutes, but to go for big wins, like choosing the most effective method from the beginning. Or constantly relying on free alternatives, when investing in a premium solution can shave off months, if not years, worth of struggles, mistakes, and most importantly, time.

          It’s making the most out of the limited time we have by focusing on solutions that deliver the most impact, and saying no to everything else.

          The ability to retain more knowledge in an age of infinite access to information and countless distractions is a powerful skill to achieve any goal we have faster.

          By learning how to remember more information everyday, we can spend less time re-learning old knowledge, and focus on acquiring new ones.

          We’re all running out of time, and today is the youngest you’ll ever be. The question is: how will you best spend it?

          More by this author

          Sean Kim

          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

          How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

          How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

          How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

          Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

          That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

          Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

          1. Write Your Goals

          The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

          Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

          As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

          Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

          2. Beat Procrastination

          Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

          Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

          Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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          What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

          When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

          3. Celebrate Small Wins

          In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

          Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

          It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

          So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

          4. Practice Gratitude

          It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

          Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

          So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

          60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

          By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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          5. Be Optimistic

          Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

          At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

          Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

          6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

          A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

          Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

          What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

          So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

          10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

          7. Face your Fears

          You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

          If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

          Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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          Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

          How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

          Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

          8. Visualize your Success

          You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

          One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

          Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

          9. Find Inspiration

          Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

          From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

          Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

          Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

          10. Enjoy Downtime

          You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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          Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

          You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

          11. Meditate Regularly

          Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

          Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

          Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

          The Bottom Line

          Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

          However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

          So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

          More Tips About Staying Motivated

          Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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