You have probably heard the old Roman proverb saying that “repetition is the mother of studies“. If anything, that proverb teaches us that Ancient Romans looked at life in very broad strokes. Granted, repetition makes the foundation for learning, but it’s hardly more than that. It will lead you to the goal, but not in the most convenient manner. So, what lies between repetition and success? Tricks, hacks and various shortcuts. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Use Scents to Trigger Memories
This may sound very weird, but human beings are driven by buried memories and unconscious reactions (just ask doctor Pavlov). Spraying an unfamiliar scent while you’re learning will associate the material that you are trying to remember with the mentioned scent. Smelling the scent afterwards will help you to recall the info much easier. Odd but it works.
Read Out Loud
The text we read silently has a very bad habit of leaving our memory just a couple of minutes later, never finding a way back. Repeating does help, but only to an extent. On the other hand, if you read the text aloud you will have much better chances of remembering the content. The more you engage the brain in representing the content in the real world (writing, drawing, singing, etc.) the better.
Start a Joke
Remembering a good joke is much easier than remembering some (supposedly) irrelevant info. Why wouldn’t you then turn a piece of info you have a trouble remembering into a funny joke? Sure, some facts may prove to be harder than others, but with enough creativity you can turn anything you want to into a long-lasting memory you will always get a crack of.
Have you ever watched the movie Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper? If you have you are probably wondering where you can find the (in)famous NZT-48 drug that allows you to access 100% of your brain. As of now, nowhere. But, you can find a good-enough alternative in the form of a brain-boosting smart pill that will optimize your learning sessions. It’s like coffee, but better.
Break the Material into Smaller Chunks
You have probably heard this one, but it’s still worth repeating. A huge lesson is like a huge piece of cake. If you try to digest it at once, you will get sick. Break the lesson into smaller, more manageable chunks, and your brain will find digesting them much easier. Keep in mind, don’t start the next chunk until you’ve finished the previous one.
Read the Lesson Before Studying
Although it seems that this way studying will take more time, that’s not the case. If you quickly go through lesson before you start studying, you will get a very good look at the bigger picture, see what’s important and what’s not and manage the content more effortlessly. Also, it is a good idea to read the titles of the paragraphs in the form of a question and try to isolate the answers while reading.
Pretend that You Are Taking Notes for Someone Else
That someone else probably doesn’t know what’s the lesson about, so do your best to make the notes as engaging and digestible as possible. Be fun, creative, draw charts and small images, use different colors for different types of info and make that other person’s life much easier.
Learning was never something people embraced with too much enthusiasm. However, with the right approach it can be made fun, and what’s even more important easier. Use the hacks we gave you and you will see for yourself.