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So continuing on with the whole learning new things … I wanted to show you some ways that would make it easier and/or faster for you to learn and retain that knowledge!
Knowing that your brain grows stronger and how it adapts to new skills is only part of the learning process. It's worthless if you don't know how to apply it. Here are some LifeHack tips I got from this source that will help you learn new skills quicker and more easily.
4 Ways to Harness Your Brain Power
Force Yourself to Learn Without Guides or Help
I'm a little torn on this one, because if you have a guide or help (like a mentor, YouTube, guides, etc), it can make things easier on your roadmap toward learning something new. However, in order for us to learn, we have to fail! (Yes, that's right.) We need to fail so we can learn how to solve problems on our own. Apparently, being confused about something can help you learn better. So don't be afraid to try something new for fear of failure!
In the science world, this may be known as “productive failure” wherein you allow yourself to struggle with a problem for a while before seeking help or information. I think a perfect example was provided by the original article in regards to learning a song on guitar. There's plenty of ways you can find the tablature of the song, but it won't help you learn the actual sound of each chord you're playing as it would if you were trying to figure it out on your own. [Essentially trial and error.]
Spread Out Learning Over Time
Throughout our history, we've been taught to CRAM studies! And sometimes we just get so into it that we might unintentionally binge-learn. However, our brains work best when we spread out learning and do distributed practice, or a number of short sessions over a longer period of time.
This practice is apparently pretty old, but not always well known, and works well with most of our busy lives. So instead of spending hours trying to study or learn something new, you'll do smaller, shorter sessions. By doing so, you are stimulating the link between your neurons more often, causing the link to grow stronger and the information to become more subconscious.
Even 15 minutes a day spent on a project can do you wonders!
Choose Your Study Time Wisely
Your body has an internal clock that also affects your circadian rhythm. At certain points in the day, you tend to work better. And according to one study, we learn best before we go to sleep! (Seriously – shocked on this, personally.) Apparently, if you take the time to study something and then go to sleep right after, you will do significantly better on a series of memory tests on the subject.
Basically, when you learn a new skill before bed, you're helping to fortify the link between those neurons! (You retain the information better, just like I said in a previous post.)
Apply Your Skills Every Day
Remember when I said CONSISTENCY is key to success? (Yeah, I've said it in other posts too.) Same goes with new skills. The more you practice, the more you're flexing that muscle and strengthening the connections between those neurons.
You're implementing everything that makes your memory work when you learn by doing. You connect a real world task with what you've been learning – it forms the bonds in your brain and therefore helps to solidify that the knowledge will stick around.
We as humans learn best when we have context. This applies to new skills as much as it does to random facts in school.
Now, as we all know … Everyone learns a little differently. And with that, you may need to experiment with what's right for you. But at least you now have some starting information to help you get going, learn something new, and help your brain work better for you! Because having a bigger, smarter brain means that you can process things more easily & faster. 🙂
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