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How to Learn Fast and Remember More: 5 Effective Techniques

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How to Learn Fast and Remember More: 5 Effective Techniques

Have you noticed that the older you get, the harder it becomes to learn things fast? When you’re a teenager, it seems you can learn endless amounts of information in rapid succession. However, as you age, reading slows down, as well as your ability to remember and recall facts and figures.

As you’ll discover in this article, there are several simple techniques to help you learn how to learn fast and remember more. Once you adopt these techniques, you’ll develop a love for learning that will last a lifetime. This will also increase your overall well-being in life, as well as boost your confidence.

For example, imagine learning a new skill (perhaps being able to speak, read, and write a new language). This could dramatically improve your life. You might secure a new job that requires a bi-lingual speaker. You might decide to retire in a new country that speaks the language, and you might even meet a new partner who falls for your verbal charms!

One thing is certain: Once you begin to enjoy learning again, you’ll reignite your life. You’ll have more energy, more drive, and much more fun.

Join me as I reveal five tips for you to learn more in a shorter amount of time.

1. Keep It Short

Set out to intentionally learn in short bursts with various learning strategies when you want to know how to learn fast. I recommend aiming for 30 minutes once a day, and then building up from there if necessary. This will prevent you from being overwhelmed by trying to take in too much new information, which will get in the way of effective learning.

Some studies, though, have suggested that the ideal study session consists of 50 minutes of studying followed by a ten-minute break[1]. However, every student is different, and you’ll have to experiment to find what kind of learning sessions work for you.

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For example, if you’d like to begin learning a musical instrument like the guitar or piano, don’t try to learn too much, too soon. This will likely be counterproductive, as you’ll not only tire your brain — but you’ll most likely tire your fingers, too!

Instead, speed up your learning by spending half an hour a day on learning your instrument. This will allow you to make slow but steady progress.

The same applies to reading a business or self-improvement book. If you want to successfully digest the key information, then don’t try to read the whole book in one session. You’ll take in much more if you just read a chapter a day.

2. Go Old School

Have you noticed that most learning nowadays involves computers? While this can be a great way to learn, research shows that it helps to write notes by hand with a pen and paper if you’re interested in discovering how to learn fast and remember more.

Writing down what you learn has double the impact, as you’re actually making yourself acknowledge the fact twice, rather than hearing it once and letting it slip away. Also, by writing it by hand, you’ll have more investment and care towards the words you write down as you’ll be summarizing what you hear into key points that will mean something to you later. This will make what you’re learning more significant and memorable.[2]

Personally, I like to carry a notepad with me at all times. This enables me to write down ideas that I come across during the day. It can be especially useful in meetings or presentations, where I can easily jot down key themes to work on later.

3. Take a Nap

Studies show that once you’ve crammed lots of new info into your brain, you can help better store it in your memory by taking a nap.[3] This is because taking a nap (as well as getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours sleep per night) helps keep your attention span and mental alertness at their peak.

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Napping after studying can also help your subconscious mind process the information that your conscious mind has taken in.

So, whether you’re trying to cram for an exam, prepare for an important work presentation, or you simply want to remember the tips in this article, make sure you take a nap when you need to. This will ensure that your brain and memory are both operating at their best.[4]

How Long to Nap

    If you’re still unconvinced by the power of napping, then consider this:

    Researchers from Saarland University in Germany[5] found that a short daytime nap of around 45-60 minutes significantly boosted brain function. In fact, they found that learning and memory could be improved by up to five times. (Now that’s something for you to remember!)

    4. Don’t Multitask

    When learning and retaining something new, it’s vital that you pay attention and put 100% of your focus on the task. If you want to know how to learn fast, one of the answers is to avoid multitasking.

    For instance, trying to learn Spanish while cooking dinner and checking your emails may seem like you’re being efficient—but the truth is that you’ll retain way less by doing this than if you just dedicate a solid 30 minutes to studying Spanish.

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    Years of observing people working in offices has convinced me of the fallacy of multitasking. Sure, it looks like multitaskers are incredibly busy and productive. However, in reality, they’re spending their time and energy in a very unproductive manner. It’s a bit like trying to run, dance and cycle all at the same time—you won’t get anywhere, and you’ll look ridiculous!

    If you’re a multitasker, check out this article: Can’t Focus? Why You’ve Been Doing It Wrong and How to Focus Better

    5. Drink More Water

    When I was in college, I hardly ever drank water, as I was much more interested in drinking Coca-Cola. Not only did these taste great, but I mistakenly believed that their high-sugar content would help keep my energy levels topped up. In reality, these drinks cause a dangerous see-saw in energy and blood sugar levels.[6]

    I became interested in drinking water when not only my energy started to fade, but my overall health, too. It was at this time that it became obvious to me that I was chronically dehydrated through consuming almost exclusively soft drinks.

    As soon as I began drinking 2 to 3 liters of mineral water a day, I noticed a huge difference. I felt much more lively, my appetite improved, and I found that my brain worked better than before. I could learn things easier and quicker, and I also discovered that my ability to recall info was boosted.

    But you don’t need to just take my word for the benefits of drinking water. According to a recent scientific study, drinking adequate amounts of water during exams was shown to improve students’ grades.[7]

    The Bottom Line

    If you want to revitalize your learning ability and discover how to learn fast, then start putting these five tips into action immediately. Sure, it requires a bit of investment on your part — but the results will definitely be worth it.

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    Once you realize that you can remember and recall things easily again, your confidence will soar, and you’ll almost certainly catch the “learning bug.”

    With your newfound drive, motivation, and superpower memory, you’ll be able to tackle things you may have only dreamed of doing before. For example, you could go back to college to study coding or philosophy. You could create a business plan for that company you’ve also thought of starting. You could even start crafting the first chapter of that book you’ve always wanted to write as you speed up the learning process.

    Being able to process and remember information will set you apart from others. You’ll be known as a quick-thinker who always has the necessary facts at their fingertips. What’s more, you’ll start to appear younger than your age, as your quick and agile mind will be more like that of someone 10 years younger than your real age.

    It’s no exaggeration to say that being able to learn fast and remember more will transform your life for the better.

    The only question that remains is: what are you going to learn next?

    More About Learning

    Featured photo credit: Adam Satria via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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