Retain more knowledge – accelerated learning techniques

by ernest on December 14, 2009

in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP),Productivity,Your Brain

It’s no secret, we all want a super memory. We want to remember more of the good stuff, the stuff that is useful and makes us more productive in reaching our goals / success. The old approach of memorizing / cramming isn’t fun. No one likes revisiting the same text over and over until we get it right. So I set out to find the best way one can do this and found a number of methods which have had positive results on me.

LinkedIn feedback
Along the way I also did a small survey on LinkedIn (click here to see it) to gain an insight into what other business professionals have been practicing when it comes to hacking their mind in order to “accelerate the learning process”. The results were interesting and in line with some of my findings.

Here are my 6 simple steps for accelerated learning and retaining more of what you learn.
Don’t forget, there is no magic to accelerated learning. It is as Jim Rohn has shared with us – “a few simple disciplines, practiced every day”… after a while this will become a habit.

1. Be in the “Right state of mind”

  • If you aren’t then do something to alter your state like taking a shower, walk in the park, meditate etc.
  • Being in the right state is key to an open mind which is willing to learn and take in new knowledge.
  • Click here to read a post I did a few weeks back on “how to meditate” to help you get into the right state of mind.

2. Relax and visualize your goal/success

  • Relax your jaw & neck, move head side to side and breath through your belly. Click here to read about breathing and it’s wonders to your health.
  • Your physiological state is just as important as your mental. What good is learning when you are not physically comfortable.
  • Visualize what you want to achieve out of this task. It’s no use doing something without an expected outcome.
  • Writing down your goals also helps cement your plan of action and results you seek.

3. Explore the subject

  • There is a difference between “knowing” and “understanding” the subject.
  • Play & explore the subject so you “understand it”.
  • Use a Mind map to break down the content into a visual format your mind understands.
  • Write notes in your own words. Do not copy what is said or written word by word. You need to let your brain process the information and then note it down in the way you understand.

4. Review

  • After each study interval session review your notes.
  • This generates a 400% increase in retention.
  • Try to limit to 40 min intervals to study.
  • Between each session do something to raise your energy levels. Jump up and down for a minute or 2 or dance to some revitalizing music etc… This wakes you up (increases your heart rate), moves your lymphatic system and helps stretch your muscles & joints.

5. Demonstrate to self that you have learnt something

  • Test your self & use your new skills.
  • Share your learnings with friends & family and discuss at a social event your new found knowledge.
  • Talking about what you have learnt cements your new found knowledge even further into your long term memory.

6. Reflect on how well you learnt & give yourself feedback

  • Ask: “How it’s going & how it could go better.”
  • Always strive for better… because you can. Never settle for just good!

Most of all, Enjoy every step of the way!

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