You’ve finished school, maybe university too – but you never stop learning, and you shouldn’t. No one can move forward without improving themselves as they go.
Many of us, however, pick up bad habits and techniques that stop us from learning effectively. For those who choose to do an accredited course such as PRINCE2 or MSP later on in life, you may have forgotten how to learn properly.
Here are some steps to correct this problem and help you get the results you want.
Connect it to something bigger.
You might remember being told to draw a diagram or create a rhyme when trying to remember something in primary school. Well, there is a reason for that. If you want to remember what you are reading (or being told) link it to as many additional contexts as possible, even if you have to make up a story in your head to link it to.
Stop often and think about how what you are learning now relates to something you may have read or learnt earlier on. Relate texts to your life experiences. Link it to something someone else might have told you. Make connections -0 the more links the better you will remember.
Don’t cram – learn for the long-term.
Cramming as much information as you can into your head over a short period of time may get you through an exam the next day, but the information will only remain in your head for a short amount of time.
Reading something thoroughly (and making connections), or listening attentively in class, even if it is weeks before an exam, will be more worthwhile than reading your study material through the night the day before an exam because the information will have stuck in your head.
Realise that performance is not linked to how much you learn
Reading two simple books may make you feel as though you have achieved a lot – but this means nothing if you have not learnt anything from them or challenged your mind. When it comes to learning, quality and not quantity is key. Read the book that challenges you, it will take you longer, buit you will come out having learnt so much more.
In the same way, the man who studies for 5 hours a day might not learn as much as the one who studies intensely, and smartly, for only one hour per day.