Advertising
Advertising

8 Habits To Help You Learn 100% Faster And Better

8 Habits To Help You Learn 100% Faster And Better

How envious we are of fast learners. They always seem to catch onto everything at a glance while we, the common folks, seem to struggle through the same materials for weeks — at best.

Well, believe it or not, there are always ways to improve your overall learning capabilities and speed. Here, we will present you with 8 tips to help you learn faster and better. Master the following tips and shy away no more when facing any difficulties in your learning.

1. Find a Suitable Environment

An environment creates atmosphere, and an atmosphere changes the world from one end to the other — including our learning experience. That’s not to say that there’s only one ideal environment that is considered the best for learning. We all respond to each environment differently, for the better or the worse.

Find a place that suits your rhythm. If you are not sure where to start looking, then don’t think about it — just start altering your places of study! You can also picture yourself learning in different places to get a general idea of where you should head first.

2. Write it Down

You have been reading through the material, over and over again, for over 45 minutes, when finally you say “Oh! I think I got it!”.

Advertising

You ponder on whether you should write it down for yourself, and then you finally conclude: “It’s okay, there’s no way I can forget it now…!”. And with that, you flip the page and continue onto the next subject.

The next morning you wake up and get ready to head out to class. The exam is handed to you and your eyes land on a single question — the one you were preparing for yesterday. You scratch your head and realize… nothing. Everything is gone. So you attempt an answer and hope for the best.

It happens to us all, and there’s one conclusion that can be made. If you want to learn faster, to memorize a concept without going through the material over and over again, you should write down notes of what you just learned, preferably by hand. When you do that, this gives your brain a chance to rehearse what you just learned and help it really sink in.

3. Association of Ideas

In order to learn, particularly something long and complicated, you are always advised to use every tool at your disposal. One of these tools is Mental Associations. Although a complex brain function, the concept is rather simple really. All you have to do is to link new gathered information to information that you already have.

For example, if you consider red an “urgent” or “important” color, you can mark new information that you consider critical with it in your mind. Another example would be to use rhymes for memorizing or even creating a chronological story in your mind. The more you practice, the better you will be at it, making it easier for you to learn new information.

Advertising

4. Hit the Brain Gym

Although not technically a muscle, the brain also strengthens the more you use it, in terms of memory, cognitive abilities, and speed. These all serve as enhancers for the next time you sit down and learn.

You can train your brain by learning new things (which is kind of a paradox), so you should pursue new and interesting subjects to study just for fun. Another method is to try online resources that claim to improve your brain function (mostly in the form of fun games).

5. Read… A Lot

It is no secret that many, if not most of our studies, revolve around reading. So it is not strange that a person who reads on a regular basis will also be quicker to read through and understand difficult material than a person who doesn’t share that same habit.

The reason for it is that the more you read, the easier it is for you to absorb written information. Take that plus the fact that you read faster the more you do it, and you are already three times a faster learner than what you were previously.

The tip here is fairly simple. Want to learn faster? Read… a lot.

Advertising

6. Make Practical Use of What You Learn

Like everything in life, you do not truly know something until you put it to practical work. You can’t be a doctor just by going through the books, no matter how many times you do it. Want to master the German language? Go live in Germany for a year and communicate with locals using only your rusty German.

In order to truly learn something, you will always need to go out there and utilize that new absorbed information.

7. Learn in a Way That Works For You

There are several ways of learning, or to be more exact, several learning modalities. They go by visual, auditory, reading/writing, and tactile learning. Each of us is more comfortable with some over the others.

Visual learners will prefer visual presentations of the material, either in the form of graphs, pictures, or watching demonstrations.

Auditory learners will prefer lectures, audiobooks, podcasts, and even interviews.

Advertising

Reading/Writing learners will prefer to read the information and write down notes for themselves.

Tactile learners will learn best from practicing the material with their own hands.

Adjust yourself to one of these learning modalities and you will find a vast improvement in your progress.

8. Pass Down The Information

“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” — Peter F. Drucker.

Just as the above quote says, you learn and absorb information best when you pass it down to another learner. When you teach someone else what you’ve learned, especially if you do it immediately after learning it, you’ll find that you absorb more information. What’s more, you will also discover the gaps in what you absorbed and be able to go over them accordingly.

Advertising

Another upside to this habit is that you will also help another person while doing so. And that’s a good reason in itself.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Warning Signs That Your Body Desperately Needs More Water How You Spend The One Hour After Work Is What Determines Your Success 6 Things I Am Too Old For (But That Means I’ve Matured) 3-Day Detox Plan To Remove Fat And Excess Water In Your Body 6 Signs You’re A Strong Person With Heightened Sensitivity

Trending in Productivity

1 5 Values of an Effective Leader 2 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 3 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work) 4 30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine 5 Is People Management the Right Career Path for You?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next