Everyone has experienced the feeling that you seem to be learning so much, putting in so much time and effort, and a few days later you don’t remember anything? And some things stay in your mind for a long time without much effort. More than one of us has had similar experiences! If you are paying for the university or a course yourself, such experiences can be very disappointing. However, it is avoidable. The answer is simple – learn how to learn effectively before you start learning. We will share tips in this post.
The brain avoids discomfort, so you have to bribe it!
Reading for several hours about something you don’t yet understand is really hard! Some people don’t intuitively read for long periods of time, but some people need to remember to take breaks. Why is this important? If you don’t take breaks, your brain will take it as torture. What is the solution? Reward yourself! Anything that will allow you to take your mind off things and relax a little. Browse Facebook, eat something tasty, play your favorite game, or whatever. Try to discover how long you can study while staying focused. It’s different for everyone, but the formula 25 minutes of study, 5 minutes of rest usually works well.
Concentration does not necessarily guarantee effective learning
The brain may be a bit like a computer, but it will never work like one. New information has to reach the brain more than once before it is recorded. The more we do something, the faster it will be recorded in the brain so that we can do or repeat it effortlessly. However, when we are learning something difficult and complex, repeating it over and over again under compulsion can have the opposite effect.
Have you ever noticed that the coolest ideas usually come when we’re sweetly settled in bed for a nap, a shower, or a nice workout? That’s because, during relaxation, the brain tries to process the information it has once again in a new environment. So don’t overdo it when you feel tired from studying, rather go for a walk or stop studying for the day, give your brain time to process the new information and then come back to it again sometime later.
Try to get as much sleep as possible!
It is still a popular belief that all students should study through the night and not sleep. But in reality, it’s much more rewarding to study for a few hours and get a good night’s sleep than it is to study all night and get no sleep at all. Learning requires a lot of energy. If you don’t sleep, you will have much less energy, so your brain will work more slowly and it will be much harder to record new information. In addition, as we mentioned earlier, the brain needs time to process and record new information. So the idea that you can learn everything overnight is simply unrealistic.
As you can see, regular rest and retreat are just as important as consistent work for effective learning. Even before you start studying, try to map out your learning regime, think about what you can reward yourself with, how you can relax and refocus your mind, and then it is likely that the new knowledge will be burned into your brain easily and for a long time. Good luck!
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