Learning How to Learn

How to learn Faster and Easier (Part 3)

By Basu Nepal

This is third of the 4 article series of how to learn faster and easier. Click Here for previous Article

Procrastination

It is the habit of delaying the task or pushing it to be done at the deadline despite knowing it’s cons. We tend to procrastinate by focusing on the end result instead we should try to focus on the process rather than the result, it enables us to reduce procrastination.

It’s common to have negative attitude at the start, but with time it will fade away from the mind. The key to move ahead is to start, it may seem difficult but as we get along it only gets easier.

The best way to remove procrastination is to make learning a habit, if it’s a habit you don’t even have to be actively involved in learning, it becomes a habit like breathing. There are 4 steps in forming a habit, they are:

  1. Cue: Identifying what causes distraction and not letting it affect you
  2. Routine: Making a routine to learn
  3. Reward: Giving yourself a reward after learning something
  4. Belief: To have a belief that you can form a habit of learning

By doing these 4 things, we can make learning a habit, after which it will come to us naturally without even being aware that we are learning.

The best way to remove procrastination is to make learning a habit

Memory

Learning is one thing and memorizing it for later is completely different. We can memorize things by repetition, repeating what we want to remember helps us to build strong neural connection making it glue to the memory. Asking question to yourself and trying to explain it to yourself can significantly improve the learning and memorizing curve.

Grouping and Visualizations

Our short-term memory cannot hold lot of information at a time so, in order to store few more information, we need to group our information in meaningful way, one piece linking us to another. Example: Dividing long bits of number into two or three group of smaller chunks and memorizing groups individually with short break in between two groups. To remember 171521, we can memorize it as seventeen, fifteen, twenty-one instead of 1-7-1-5-2-1.

Another effective way is visualization, associating particular information with another piece of information that we already have stored in our long-term memory. For example: associating people’s name with their physical attributes or familiar objects. It’s the technique used by memory masters and memory champions to memorize lots of information in short interval of time.

Memory Palace

As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I was fascinated by his mind palace technique and it turns out, we can use it for real to store information in our own memory palace. It’s a technique of associating objects or information to a location which can be any place like your house. For Example: If you want to memorize first five elements of atomic table, you can imagine hydrogen flumes coming through your door, helium balloon flying at ceiling of your room, a giant lithium battery in the middle of the room, sweet berries at your table and boring music playing through your speaker. With all these association to visual, taste and sound if you want to recall element you just have to enter your room in mind. You will see flame to recall hydrogen, then balloon reminds you of helium, giant battery in front of you remind of lithium and so on.

Different research and studies have proved that practicing these techniques can significantly improve your memory power and help you to memorize things easily.

Learning Changes Brain

We have billions of neurons in our brain, the connection between these helps us learn and memorize better. It was found through study that learning and practicing actually creates new neurons and new connection between them. Repeated practice forms new neurons in brain, which helps in memorization.

Exercise also helps to create new neurons which is by far the most important in development of brain. Creating a lively visual metaphor or analogy for new information glues the idea into a brain as it makes connection to a neuron which are already present. It’s like connecting new pieces to almost solved puzzle.

There is commonly believed misconception that people are gifted or some have good brain for learning, which is not a reality. People can enhance their neural development by learning and practicing in regular basis. Everything is created by repeated and deliberate practice.

This is the third part of four part learning series, Click Here for Next Part

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