Apart from hiring high school English tutors, what can you do to improve your chances of success when studying?
According to worldwide learning expert Jim Kwik, one of the best ways to maximize your learning capacity is to forget everything you think you know about the subject so you can assimilate new information. Teaching the information to someone else is another powerful strategy. But, there’s more to boosting your learning capacity than these two tactics alone. To help you out, we’ve broken it down into five easy tips you can implement today.
- Mind your diet
Eat brain-boosting foods like blueberries, cruciferous vegetables, and leafy greens. When you eat berries, your brain functions as though it’s 2 ½ years younger. Beans give a slow release of sugar, which gives energy to your brain, and they also have folate, which is a b-vitamin that’s good for brain cell health. Consume lots of omega 3 fats to improve focus as well, and drink plenty of water to keep your brain hydrated.
- Get enough sleep
Sleep plays a big role in our ability to learn new information and skills. When we’re awake, new situations and stimuli can prevent important memories from consolidating in our minds. When we’re asleep, we’re better at creating new memories.
One study found that sleep helps your memory formation most if you know you’ll need the information later. Without adequate sleep, you’ll have a hard time learning something new, because your brain won’t have the opportunity to review and absorb the fresh information. When you get enough sleep, by contrast, you’ll be able to consolidate those memories faster and make fewer mistakes overall.
- Empty your cup
Try and forget what you already know about the subject so you can learn something new. Sometimes people struggle to learn quickly because they feel like their cup is full. The point is to start with a beginner’s mind.
Block out anything that isn’t urgent to you – you can’t think of things that are going on outside of your study session and be present at the same time. Distractions cause you to only use a fraction of your potential.
- Learn by doing
Most of us feel overwhelmed with too much to learn and too little time. You listen to podcasts every day, get new emails every morning, and have an ever-growing reading list. This constant assault of information can feel overwhelming and stressful. Then in school, we’re trained to be passive, sit quietly, be lectured to, and just consume information.
But, your brain doesn’t learn based on consumption – it learns through creation. You have to get involved, take notes, ask lots of questions, and be proactive. Immersing yourself in the subject is the best way to learn anything.
Research shows that humans retain 10% of what they learned from reading, 20% of what they learn audio-visually, 50% from what they learn from an interactive presentation, up to 70% of what they practice and apply later, and up to 90% of what they put into action immediately. The way to learn faster is to get your hands dirty and gain experience through making mistakes.
Commit your full focus and use the Pomodoro technique to help you focus. It allows you to focus on one task for 20 to 25 minutes while taking 5 to 10-minute breaks. After a few sessions, the technique allows you to take longer breaks. The brain is receptive to more information when you’re focused, so this system is worth trying out.
Apply one or all of these tips today to supercharge your study habits.
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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.