This article has everything you need to know about how to learn faster.
You are spend thousands and thousands of hours learning over the course of your life. And despite all that time in the classroom, learning languages, music, whatever it might be, you might be learning one of the slowest ways possible ; This is because your teachers have good intentions, but because they did not know how to teach you to optimize that learning experience.
The good news is this. There are ways, principles, that you can apply to everything, from martial arts to business, that are going to help you lap the competition.
You can learn much faster than you are. So, right now, think of something in your life; one thing that you’re trying to progress in, apply these tips and watch as you just go fast through your learning curve.
How To Learn Faster And Remember More
Feynman learning method
Step 1: Open your notebook
It’s better to use a real notebook and a pen. But if you’re more comfortable with digital, you can use Evernote or Google Docs. This will help you to read your notes wherever you are.
Step 2: Write everything you know about the subject
Of course, I’m expecting that you have an idea about the topic. Even a general idea. So start by simplifying your knowledge by using simple words to organize the subject in your mind.
Example: You know that 1 + 1 = 2, right? Start by writing: “If we take one red apple and one green apple, we will have 2 apples. So 1 + 1 = 2”.
Yes, in the beginning, it will look like a stupid method of teaching, but you will get the point in the 4th step.
Step 3: Use drawings to simplify the concept
The general idea of the Feynman learning technique is to make it as simple as possible. And you know that the human brain process images 60,000 times faster than text.
So use images, drawings, and lines to simplify your concepts and theories.
Step 4: Explain the topic to a 6-year-old child
Do you remember the apple example? How do you want to prove to a child that 1 + 1 = 2?
However, you’re not obliged to always use such examples. Just make it simple. Simple to the point you feel comfortable with its simplicity.
Step 5: Go back to your books when you get stuck
Now comes the learning part.
While doing the previous steps, you will find yourself missing some points or asking questions you don’t know their answers.
What you will do here, is going back to your study material (or you can use uncle Google if you want) and reread the hard part.
Tip: Ask your teacher or search online if you don’t get the answer with rereading.
Step 6: Connect old and new knowledge
Know you have simplified your old and new knowledge. It’s time to connect the dots. The way to do that is by asking questions, especially the “Why” and “How” questions.
Try to come up with new questions that will oblige you to search and dive into the topic. By the end, you will become the most knowledgeable among your classmates on this subject.
Keep doing this until you get to the point of answering every question asked by yourself, friends, and teacher.
Step 7: Anything else?
You can never get to the point of “Absolute Knowledge” so keep searching and diving if you’re interested in that subject.
Avoid these mistakes Don’t speak jargon or use hard vocabulary. Just speak in plain terms (remember, you’re teaching a child).
No big words or fluffy “business speak” Don’t start from the top: Start explaining the fundamentals of that subject. Don’t make it a book-size! The least possible number of pages is better.
After you write down everything you know, it comes the best part. The new knowledge.
SEE ALSO: How To Be a Successful Student: 9 Highly Practical Tips For Students
Identify your knowledge gaps
While doing the previous steps, you’ll easily find gaps in your learning. You’ll start asking questions that you don’t have the answer for. Just write them down.
This is the goal of this methodology. When you get to this point, you can go back to your books, study materials, Google, or any source of information you like.
Then, start searching for answers to every question that jumps to your mind. Repeat the same processes until you answer all of your questions. Because this is what really matters.
Getting deeper and deeper into that specific topic. Because as Richard Feynman Said:
“ You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”
The Feynman learning technique is an effective ( if not the most effective ) way to simplify theories and subjects to the point that even your old-neighbor could understand.
The point of this method is to build-up knowledge starting from the principles of that subject up to more complex theories and concepts. This way, your brain will be able to connect new information with previous knowledge more effectively, which means a better knowledge base.
Learning new things
There are so many skills you can master, including practical skills that can help you with everyday tasks.
Learning new things is also a fantastic way to keep your mind sharp and active. The way you pick up new skills matters. Using the simple tips and tricks we are about to discuss in this article, you can master new skills faster and more effectively.
Learn as if you are teaching yourself a new skill. When reading a book, for example, let the mind think that you are reading the book to yourself.
For some people, reading out loud is the way to get that sense of teaching themselves. Others have discussions with themselves in the mind.
Imagine that you are teaching someone (yourself) and you will learn at a much faster pace.
This has something to do with the expectation you set yourself when you teach, according to a study by Washington University.
That need to teach heightens your brain’s ability to absorb and relay information.
Don’t try to remember everything in one go. Sometimes, you have to take notes or write down important points from the book or other sources as part of the learning process.
You can revisit your notes later and refresh your mind about what you are trying to learn. The process of writing down key points is also helpful.
You are getting more involved in the learning process by writing down the things you find important; this tells your brain to store those important points better.
Use Audio and Visual Cues
There are reasons why video tutorials are much easier to follow, and that reason is the presence of audio.
When you combine audio and visual cues, the entire learning process becomes more immersive and stimulating.
Businesses are using explainer videos to help customers learn about their products and services for the same reason.
Videos help deliver a lot of information in a more effective way. Besides, you can keep your focus on the explainer video for longer; doing so with a long book isn’t always that easy.
Countless learning experts and researchers have shown us that it is possible to learn anything in a fraction of the average expected time, it’s just a matter of following the right framework.
You are going to have to put in the work, sweat, and blood to get to where you want to be.
But if you decide to take these frameworks to heart and apply it into your learning process, you’ll get there a lot faster.
1. Know your outcome
The rest of the steps that follow in this article is useless if you can’t get this step right. Ask any successful person in their respective industry and they’ll tell you that they had a clear, specific vision for what they wanted to achieve.
Let’s say you wanted to learn a new language. Think about how you would feel if you were to speak Spanish fluently today.
What opportunities will become available by speaking fluently? What would you do if you could speak this language fluently right now? Will you have a deeper relationship with your family/friends? Grow your business? Enjoy your travels more?
This visual, goal-setting exercise triggers dopamines into your brain, allowing you to gain momentum and energy to move mountains.
More importantly, it helps you understand your “why” for this specific skill or knowledge you want to acquire.
2. Model the best
No matter what you want to learn or accomplish, there’s someone in the world that has already achieved what you want.
In other words, there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. In today’s information age, your mentors and coaches can be in the form of biographies, books, videos, and the abundance of knowledge that’s available for those who seek it. If you seek it, you will find it.
3. Immersion, immersion, immersion
Remember when you first learned how to drive? When you first started, you probably had thousands of things running through your mind.
This is because we haven’t immersed ourselves enough yet. But after getting behind the wheel for the 100th time, we no longer have to think about the small details of knowing how to turn your lights or how hard to push on the brakes, and we’re relying mostly on muscle memory to perform the same functions.
A study done on professional violinists back up the law of immersion and the 10,000 hour rule popularized by Malcolm Gladwell. The difference between “good” and “professional” players was 2,000 hours (10,000 versus 8,000).
4. 80/20 Percent principle
Most of us understand the deadliness of multitasking, but we still continue to do it. A study on multitasking showed that it takes an average 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back your full focus, once distracted from the task at hand.
Given that most people work 9 hour days and face a new distraction every five minutes, that’s a deadly statistic to face.
Since multitasking is so deadly and our focus is limited, one way we can maximize our output is to drop what doesn’t work.
The easiest way to do this is to apply the Pareto’s law into your task. In almost anything we do, there’s a few vital tasks that give you the majority of your desired results.
- 80 percent of your happiness comes from 20 percent of the people in your life
- 80 percent of your income comes from 20 percent of your tasks
- 80 percent of your knowledge comes from 20 percent of the mentors, books, or solutions
While the exact 80/20 ratio will vary in every situation, the principle is clear. Only a few things matter, and your job is to know which ones do and which ones you should drop.
5. Repetition and Mileage
We’ve discussed the importance of repetition, but mileage is often far more important. If we could analyze the number of potential talent, businesses, or innovations that have been buried due to a lack of persistence, it would be shockingly surprising.
SEE ALSO: How To Deal With Exam Stress: 10 Successful Study Hacks
Preparation for Examination
Whenever we’re learning something new, we all go through the same learning curve—no matter how hard we work or how talented we are.
1. Walk Before An Exam
It’s been proven that exercise can boost your memory and brain power. Research conducted by Dr. Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois provides evidence that about 20 minutes exercise before an exam can improve performance.
2. Speak Out Loud Instead of Simply Reading
Although this may make you look a little crazy, give it a go! You will be surprised how much more you can remember when you’ve said it out loud. Warning: Don’t try this in a crowded library!
3. Reward Yourself With A Treat
There are many ways to integrate a reward system into your habits so you learn how to study for exams more efficiently.
4. Teach What You Have Learned
The best way to test if you really understand something is to try to teach it to someone else. If you can’t get anyone to listen to you explain the Pythagorean Theorem, why not teach a class of stuffed animals!
5. Create Mental Associations
The ability to make connections is not only an easier way to remember information, but it’s the fuel of creativity and intelligence.
Mind Maps are an easy way to connect ideas by creating a visual overview of different connections.
6. Draw Diagrams
Drawing diagrams will help you to visualise information which would be hard to describe. This creates a visual memory in your mind which can be recalled in an exam. You may even be asked to draw or label diagrams such as the human heart in your exam so get practicing!
7. Watch a Documentary on the Topic
Documentaries are an entertaining way of compacting an entire story into a short timeframe. This will help you remember key details from a story plus you may even get extra credit for mentioning that you took the initiative and watched a film about the topic!
8. Take Regular Study Breaks
When your brain is working, you need to take regular study breaks to help your brain absorb more information but also to keep you motivated and focused when you are working.
Take a short break after 45-50 minutes study as your focus and concentration will become impaired after this period, anything new after 1 hour 30 minutes does not get assimilated.
9. Discover News Ways to Learn
Trying new study methods can help you find what really works for you. Use technology to your advantage by watching educational TED Talks or downloading useful dictionary apps for example
Meditation is one of the study methods that can help students stay focused when studying. Not only will meditation help you concentrate when studying but it will help reduce pre-exam stress as it improves both mental and physical health.
Thank you for reading this article about how to learn faster and I really hope that you take action my advice. I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.