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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!”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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