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How can we learn things faster?

posted in: Productivity | 0

Everyone of us went to school since we were children. We all had to learn various subjects, and be rated on some mysterious scale to meet the expectations of teachers and parents. Most of us did not like school, but has anyone considered why? Learning new skills and abilities is such an amazing thing to be capable of doing, but some of us hated it so much. Well one of the opinions on this could be that the schools and their teaching methods were build in order to standardise us. And that is definitely not the way to go forward for humans as a race. Everyone of us is very unique and our skills, perception and abilities are very different. While most of the schools are using old methods of teaching and trying to rate everyone on the same scale, kids and children are getting depressed because they feel that they are not good enough to meet some made up standards. Going through it all myself in the past and feeling down when I get the low grade, now I decided to investigate and see if there are other ways to learn  and grow as a person, while not hating the methodologies.

I have spent some time doing research and today I would like to present you a new approach on learning. These methods were taken from a book called “Accelerated Learning”. It is a great read as it goes deep and explains us this great method. It has made the learning process so much more interesting for me, and I feel motivated to learn new things again. I would love to share the ideas told in this book. Although I will only cover the main points of this book, feel free to get that it for yourself if you’re interested in learning more on this.

How to learn things faster and increase our memory capacity?

Well to understand about how to learn faster we should first understand how we learn things in general. Although scientifically learning or memory creation does not have a fixed description it could be explained this way: Learning is a memory that has been created in our brain. A memory that could be recalled whenever it’s needed to do some sort of an action. For example, we learn how to speak a foreign language by remembering new words. Another example could be, that we learn to ride a bicycle by memorising the steps required to do that; balance, pedalling, steering.

At first these things might be hard, but later on they feel as you don’t even have to try or think in order to complete them. That is the key in learning. The “not thinking about” is the key. We learn things once we get them into our subconsciousness. We can call a thing truly learned only then when it reaches the deep side of our mind. Knowing that, is there a way to speed up this process and make our new learnings get straight to that unconscious level? Well yes there is!

Before I get into the actual techniques of accelerated learning, I have to say that none of this will work if you feel down or you have made up some sort of limitations on your learning capabilities. To get the most of this learning you shall try to get into your best mental and physical shapes, and take it in a relaxed and calm way.

To accelerate our learning and reach the subconsciousness we must encode the information that we want to learn. Encoding is an association that would help us to remember things. Encodings could be visual, audio or emotional. This might be hard to understand so a simple example could be useful here; In order to remember a new Spanish word, naranja, meaning orange, we should associate it the taste of a sour orange. Once you hear that word use your imagination and feel the taste of the orange and repeat naranja in your head. This would help you not to just simply remember the word, but feel the taste of it so it would be easier to recall it next time you hear it or want to use it in a sentence!

Encoding is important but so as being relaxed and positive about the learning itself. You need to find a way to learn new things in a calm, negativity free way. Remove all the psychological barriers you have in your mind in order to learn more. Also, a motivation to learn is important too. If you are only doing it because your parents want you to graduate from school or higher education with good marks, it won’t work. You have to truly want to learn the thing you set out to learn.

Once you encode the information, you should have a break. Good night sleep helps the information to sink in better. And after you wake up, revise your newly learned memory to make it really stick in your mind!

Other related tips on how to accelerate learning:

To find the best way of learning that suits you, remember that there are different types of learning mediums. You can learn by physically doing/touching things, by listening to the sound or voice or maybe by seeing something visually. For the best results try to combine all of these methods. Let’s get back to the same example we used before. The Spanish word naranja meaning orange, could be encoded emotionally by imagining and feeling the taste of it, then visualised in your mind as a fruit, and finally heard in a sentence such as “tengo una naranja” meaning I have an orange. Combining all of the methods can really help you to learn things faster. Also don’t forget to have regular breaks during your learning sessions, as this improves our ability to absorb information!

Even though the example I’ve given was about learning a new word, this could be used with anything else too! It might be harder to emotionally encode some other topics you want to learn, but there are other methods that do come in handy. E.g instead of linking a memory emotionally try to draw out an image, or a diagram on paper of the subject you are trying to learn. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a saying that is very true, as it is scientifically proven that we can process visual memory much better than any other.

So to sum this up here are key points on when learning something new are: relaxed calm state of mind, no limitations on yourself, encoding and revision.I really recommend you reading the book if you want to learn more on this topic, but I sure hope you found something useful while reading this too. Thanks for your time.

Keep growing!