How to remember what you learn for a long period of time and other tips

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Hey I just wanted to share some of what I have learned related to learning how to learn.


This is made out of “5parts.”

1 How to remember what you learn long term.

2 How to understand things better.

3 How to learn skills better.

4 A few tips extra tips. (including how to stop procrastinating)

5 (sources)


How to remember what you learn long term:

One thing I have found useful when trying to remember things for a long time is something called retrieval practice. What it is is basically just trying to see if you can retrieve(Or recall) the information you want to remember without looking at the source material.

The reason why this works I believe is because in the process of retrieving what you want to recall you strengthen that memory compared to if you don’t recall it at all you don’t strengthen it and therefore don’t remember as much.

A good way to practice this is to make what you want to remember into a question and answer and then put them into flash cards.

A great software for this is a program called Anki where you can make your own flash cards.

For example if you wanted to remember what the spiral dynamic stages where you could make it into a question by saying “What is the spiral dynamic stages?” And then write it on the front of the flash card and then write the answers of the back of the flash card.  Then you can test your self and see if you can remember it.(it might take several practice times before you can remember it fully)

An even better way to remember is to use something called spaced repetition which is instead of spending 10 hours in a day you spread those hours into one hour over 10 days and that will strengthen memory even more.

While this is a good technique to remember things long term it’s still a good idea to understand what you learn some techniques you can use to test yourself on your understanding is:

How to understand things better:

Try to explain the concept you try to understand without looking at the source material.

The reason why this works I believe is because in the practice of explaining a concept you really put your knowledge to the test. It is also a good way to figure out where you get stuck.

There are some techniques out there that is called The feynman technique and Explain like i am five (where you try to explain things the simple way possible) that uses this.

How to learn skills better:

A good way to get good at skills is to use something called deliberate practice. Here is what it is:

Work mostly on your weakness with specific goals that increases in challenge

Focus on the little things break down the skills into the smallest possible pieces and work on those til you consistently get them right

Repetition is fundamental. It’s boring but it’s the only way to mastery.

Concentration during practice is also essential intense concentration

Spend time training alone not just alongside of others (less enjoyable and more effortful activities are the best type if you're serious about getting to the next level

Get regular feedback on your performance from and expert(Tip find a practice partner or a coach to get feedback)

Study deeply the best in your field

Practice outside your comfort zone

A few extra tips:

Some tips I have found useful is to study in isolation(and study when your energy is at it best) so you aren’t distracted when learning and Focus with great intensity.

There is an equation by Cal Newport that goes like this: Work Accomplished = Time Spent x Intensity.

Why you procrastinate.

One of the reasons why you might procrastinate according to Cal Newport is because you have a bad plan you don’t trust. Your brain already know your process doesn’t work so it don’t see any reason to begin work in the first place. A good way to overcome this is to have a productivity system the one I use is called Weekly daily goals by Scott H Young.

What you do is set everything you need to do during the week and then add them to a specific day where you only focus on those for the day. And alternative is to use a system called fixed schedule by Cal Newport where you only work for a specific set of hours.

How to learn a language quickly:

A good way to learn a language quickly is to speak from day one.

Scott H young did a whole year where he didn’t speak English and learned four languages this way.

An other tip. If you find it hard to concentrate when learning from videos write notes at the same time your are watching I found this to help me concentrate better when learning from videos. 

To aviod burnout take good breaks(or boring breaks)



I hope this is useful. Thanks for reading.

Edited by BjarkeT

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