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Fail productively... how to turn yourself into a super-learner

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https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/feb/16/neuroscience-become-a-super-learner-scientific-research-better-learning-long-term-memory

theguardian.com

Fail productively... how to turn yourself into a super-learner
If your aim for 2020 was to learn a new skill, you may be at the point of giving up. Whether you are mastering a new language or a musical instrument, or taking a career-changing course, initial enthusiasm can only take you so far, and any further progress can be disappointingly slow.

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Learn A New Skill

Learn A New Skill

Learning a new skill can be tough. Those of us trying to master a new language, learn a musical instrument, or take an online course, will find that when the initial enthusiasm dries up, things mov...

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Make It A Challenge

Most learning techniques with lots of theory and colorful infographics do not assist in making the information stick in our minds.

There is a need for ‘desirable difficulties’ which exerci...

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A Pre-Test Quiz

.. or a Q&A session primes the brain to absorb the information afterward, and failing to answer it initially is part of the game.

The brain needs to know that it doesn’t know.

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Teaching Others

Continuously quizzing yourself, something called ‘retrieval practice’ jogs the memory and builds stronger traces. The harder the retrieval is, the stronger the memory formation.

Teaching oth...

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Mix It Up

Spending too much time on one topic can be counterproductive. It is better to switch and rotate between topics, something called ‘interleaving’. 

The technique has an in-built mom...

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Get Moving

Get Moving

Cardiovascular exercise makes us better learners, triggering dopamine and epinephrine in our brains, providing us with a natural memory boost.

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Change Your Environment

Our memory is contextually sensitive, making our surroundings affect its functioning.

Studies show that changing the place of learning can help retain and recall the topics better.

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Do Nothing

Do Nothing

Recovery is a must for learning. Taking time off does not mean more brain stimulation like TV or video games. It means just closing your eyes and doing nothing. 

Surprisingly, that is wh...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

“Focused” and “Diffused” Modes

When learning, there are times in which you are focused and times in which you allow your mind to wander. Both modes are valuable to allow your brain to learn something.

Take regular break...

Chunking

This is the idea of breaking what you want to learn into concepts. 

The goal is to learn each concept in a way that they each become like a well-known puzzle piece. 

In order to master a concept, you not only need to know it but also to know how it fits into the bigger picture.

Beware of Illusions of Competence

There are many ways in which we can make ourselves feel like we have “learned” a concept.

Instead of highlighting or underlining, rather take brief notes that summarize keys concepts.

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Just start, break the initial barrier

Every task has a certain Activation Energy (AE), where you initiate certain steps in order to start a task.

Reducing the Activation Energy of new habits you want to form will make it i...

Practice chunking

A memory chunk is a solid connection in your mind that relates various bits and pieces of information. 

Focus on the concept you want to form a chunk of. Write down the basic ideas of what the concept is all about. Build up from these fundamentals to finally create a chunk.

Learn, Practice, Recall — Repeat

Just forming chunks is not sufficient. You have to maintain them. The more you look after the chunks, the longer they last.

While reviewing material, recall it instead of just reading it passively. Try and recall in a different setting than where you studied it.

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A New Way To Study

Studying takes too much time, and there are only a limited number of hours. Spaced repetition method uses time intervals and makes you recall more information, using less time.

“Work involving higher mental functions, such as analysis and synthesis, needs to be spaced out to allow new neural connections to solidify. New learning drives out old learning when insufficient time intervenes.”

“Work involving higher mental functions, such as analysis and synthesis, needs to be spaced out to allow new neural connections to solidify. New learning drives out old learning when insufficient time intervenes.”

Everything Remains In Memory

A recent theory on forgetting states that everything we learn remains in storage inside our memory, but our ability to recall and retrieve that information fades if we do not practice fetching information.

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