3 Tips For More Effective Learning

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Learning can be an extremely fulfilling and rewarding thing, in and of itself — whether done in the context of school or a University degree, or whether just done in a casual manner, by watching documentaries and reading books.

Depending on the context, effective learning can mean that you are expanding your professional horizons by acquiring new skills, or it can mean that you are acquiring qualifications that can help you to successfully pursue and achieve your dreams in life as a whole.

Or, learning could just be a way of enjoying the magic and depth of the world at large.

While learning “strategies” such as pulling all-nighters and cramming before exams are all too common, there’s a lot of evidence to think that these approaches often do more harm than good.

Here are a few tips for more effective learning as a whole.

Study the topic using multiple formats

You may learn better, retain more information, and have more fun with the overall learning process, if you study the topic in question using multiple different formats and approaches.

Some people naturally seem to learn better by reading dense text passages. Others by hands-on practice. Others by watching videos and in-person presentations.

Try to add a mixture of different modalities to your learning process, such as by combining condensed notes from a source like Enlightnotes, with reading books on the subject, watching videos, and more.

A significant part of good and effective learning is simply immersing yourself in a subject.

Get a good night’s sleep after studying

Sleep is all-too-often sacrificed when individuals are trying to learn and retain a lot of information — particularly just before an exam or other test.

Ultimately, though, pulling an all-nighter to study may actually be one of the worst ideas when it comes to effective learning.

Among other things, researchers have found strong evidence that sleep plays an essential role in consolidating memories and new information, and helping to turn short term memories into long term memories.

The best you can really hope for when learning in a state of ongoing sleep deprivation, is to temporarily retain some of the information. But even then, sleep deprivation slows cognitive functioning, impairs awareness, and does a lot more to undermine not only the ability to learn, but also overall health and wellness.

Getting a good night’s sleep after studying can be extremely powerful in aiding effective learning.

Try to proactively cultivate a sense of interest in what you are learning

Generally speaking, we all tend to be better at remembering things that we are interested in — which may well be part of the reason why so many people know all the lyrics to their favorite songs by heart.

Of course, not every topic that you may be learning will be equally as interesting to you. But by cultivating a sense of interest in whatever you are learning — and by looking for things to become genuinely curious about — you can make the learning process significantly more fun, while simultaneously making it more effective.

Let me know what you think!