A few tricks for productive learning

25 Aug

If you are unable to think of a catchy, creative way to present sales data or begin a newspaper column, take a walk.

Gretchen Reynolds. (April 30, 2014), The New York Times.

walkHave you ever imagined that the best ideas come to you when you are not thinking about them? It’s a working method, this is how I started to write this article about how to become a better learner, how to make the learning process easier and better. I’m going to tell you a few easy but effective tricks to make this process easier. Just follow them step by step.

For example, you want to start learning English. You wanted it even last year but simply didn’t find time for it. Here is a good method for you which is called The Pomodoro method. It’s about setting a timer for 25 minutes, turn off all interruptions and then focus. You think, “Oh, it’s just for 25 minutes”, but then you get involved in the process of learning and don’t even want to stop. You should try, it really works.

Once you have started your learning process using the pomodoro method, you should know that learning is not just concentrating on certain work, it’s also about relaxing.

Mark Twain, during an enormously productive summer of writing in 1874, spent entire days daydreaming in the shade of Quarry Farm in New York, letting his mind wander, thinking about everything and nothing at all, and, in the end, publishing “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

Brigid Schulte, (May 16, 2014). CNN Opinion

It’s all about people’s 2 different modes of thinking – focused and diffuse modes. Briefly, the focused mode helps you to concentrate on what you’re trying to learn. On the other hand, diffuse mode gives you more space, when you are doing something else, e.g. eating, walking or taking a shower, this mode turns on and suddenly provide you with the ideas on what you’re trying to learn.

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Sleep makes a remarkable difference in your ability to figure out difficult problems and to understand what you’re trying to learn.

Sleep is one of the best ways to help yourself during a learning period. When you sleep, your brain cells shrink, which allows toxins to be more easily washed away. So sleeping is not waste of time as it may seem. It helps you to figure out any problems you may have and to understand what you’re trying to learn.

While learning something, try not to concentrate on the product. This triggers the pain in your brain and makes you to procrastinate. You can easily avoid it by concentrating on the process. After some time it should become a habbit. Researchers discovered that not long after people might start actually working out what they didn’t like, the sense of discomfort disappeared. And remember the better you get at something, the more enjoyable it becomes.

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Also set goal finish time in your planner journal.

Keep a planner journal. You may think you have a brilliant memory, and maybe you’re right, but keeping everything in mind isn’t effective. Just make a schedule of the week jobs, then every evening, before going to bed, read and make corrections in it. Add what else you would do and delete what you have already done.

In the end, use memory palaces. Identify what you’re trying to remember with something you are familiar with. E.G. I use as a memory palace my wardrobe. It has many lockers, it has many hangers, there is a special place for my shoes and also many boxes. While trying to improve your English you can use all these to remember new words, new expressions and so on. You can put each of them to a special box, group words that have something common with each other and hang them from hangers. Try it !

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