How To Learn - Three Techniques
Want to know how to learn? The bad news is that there is no one "way" to learn. The good news is that there are many ways. Read, take notes, repeat what you learn so you won't forget it - all of these are traditional ways to learn something new. The following are three more techniques to try.
How To Learn By Teaching
It has been said that if you really want to learn something thoroughly, you should teach it to another. This is a proven way to clarify that knowledge and make it "stick" in your head. Of course, you may not have someone available to teach, or you may not want to take the time and effort to do so.
In that case, the next best solution is to imagine yourself teaching. This can really change your perspective and make learning more efficient. Approach the study of anything new with the idea in mind that you will be teaching what you're learning to someone else. In fact, as you learn something, imagine how you will teach it. You should even hear the words you will use. This can be a very powerful way to get a good grasp on new information.
How To Learn More By Taking Breaks
Learn more by taking breaks? Yes, actually. Research into how we learn shows that we remember best what we studied first and last in a given "learning session." Take more breaks, and you have more "sessions," so you increase the number of firsts and lasts.
How often should you take a break? This isn't as clear. Obviously if you take a break every two minutes it can just interfere with learning. You can try taking a break whenever your mind starts to wander, but probably no more often than a five-minute break every fifteen minutes. Getting up and moving around during your breaks can also keep your mind fresh.
Project How You Will Use New Knowledge
As you study something new, stop to imagine how you will use what you are learning. There is always so much information, and yet little of it is the "important stuff." But by imagining how you'll use your new information, you tend to automatically focus on the things you really need to know.
If you are a student, you may protest that you won't actually have a use for the new information - you just need to pass a test. That's okay. Passing the test is how you will use it then. Imagine the kinds of questions that you will see on the test, and that will help you recall what is most important at test time.
To learn how to learn, just start using any of these techniques until they become habit. Then learn another one.
About the Author: Copyright Steve Gillman. For more on How To Learn, and to get the Brain Power Newsletter and other free gifts, visit: