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I Use These 7 Questions To Remember Everything I Read, Do You Have 5 Minutes?

I Use These 7 Questions To Remember Everything I Read, Do You Have 5 Minutes?

Reading is fascinating. But it can also be frustrating if you just cross off your book list without going into depth. Do you often forget what you have just read? Or have you ever spent a lot of time on finishing a book but in the end you couldn’t tell the main ideas of the book clearly?

It is not about your inability to memorize things. But you’re just not active enough in reading.

Reading ineffectively might be frustrating

Reading quickly just for the sake of completing a book is a mistake we easily make. We skim through paragraphs in the hope of absorbing as much information as possible within a short period of time. But then we only focus on the parts we understand and miss out the full picture presented in the book. It is unlikely that we will be able the recall the content after a day or so.

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A common question that we usually ask ourselves after reading is whether we like the book or not. While this is also important as reading is supposed to be fun, simply asking this kind of yes-no question cannot make reading meaningful and reflective. Worse still, if we only stick with the books we like, we will limit our exposure to different knowledge.

To practice active reading, generating a list of questions before digging into the content is a good approach. [1] But you might wonder what kinds of questions you should ask and here are some questions that you might want to take a look for reference:

1. If I can get only 3 things from the book, what are they? How will I apply them in daily life?

Some books consists of piles of information that we might feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it is better not to overestimate our abilities to memorise things because we can rarely get more than 3 messages from a book. Keep identifying what information is more useful to you when you read. After all, there’s no point of remembering or jotting down information that you can’t apply in daily life as it is very likely that you will forget it the next day.

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2. What are the arguments or suggestions made by the writer?

No one writes without any purposes. Even the book is a novel instead of the practical type, the authors have some purposes in their minds, either to convey messages or to persuade readers. Spending some time to figure out their key points makes us easier to digest the whole piece without missing any important insights.

3. What problems does the writer attempt to solve?

Nearly every book is about problem-solving. Even in a book about literature, there is always a climax in the plot and that’s what the writer attempt to solve. The problem indicated might not be explicit but if we can find it out, we can always learn from it to improve our problem-solving skills.

4. What strategies does the writer use to convey the key ideas in the book?

Reading is one of the good ways to improve our writing skills. We can pay extra attention to the writing style of the writers and how their ideas are presented, such as the diction, rhetorical devices and organisation used, to make our writings more appealing to readers.

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5. What do I know about the topic of the book covers? How what the book says is different from what I originally know?

We usually give up reading a book because we find no connection between what we know and what the book talks about. Before reading, it is better for us to do some brainstorming and to recall your previous knowledge related to the topic so that you are ready to explore more.

6. Are there any particular things I do not understand in the book?

It is quite impossible to be know-it-all so it is quite certain that we will encounter with something which seems unfamiliar, or something that we don’t agree on. Skipping those parts is not the best solution for it because this would limit our horizons. Instead, delving into the unfamiliar parts or opposite ideas is the best way to take ourselves to another level.

7. Which part of the book I like or dislike? And why?

Reading a book is not about reading the text only but also reading ourselves. Asking ourselves this question enables us to be reflective learners. Discovering more about our tastes allows us to choose a better reader that fits our preferences.

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It might take a longer time for us to read a book if we practice active reading using the above questions. But we can definitely gain a lot more because we wouldn’t rush just to finish a book without digesting the ideas.

Reference

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Sheba Leung

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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