6 Tools for Better Learning

tools for better learning

The process of life starts with learning since the day you draw your first breath on this earth. However, it stops the day you stop paying attention or stop wanting to learn. Learning methods vary from person to person, however many lose hope and self confidence thinking that they are poor learners because they’re unable to process information in conventional ways. On the contrary, the fact of the matter is that people absorb and process information in different ways, so if your best friend likes to sit in the college cafeteria to study doesn’t mean it will work for you too.

Another myth that has led people to believe that their brain is not as “active” as others is that only a very small percentage, 10% or 15% of your brain works. Neuroscientist Berry Beyerstein refutes this myth by saying, “we use virtually every part of the brain, and that (most of) the brain is mostly active.” This means that you have an equal chance of understanding and learning as anybody else, you just need to exercise your brain and understand its preferences.

Following tools for better learning will boost your memory and help you in understanding and soaking in relatively more information.

1. Concentration

This one perhaps is a no brainer, but is sometimes ignored. You need to concentrate on the subject and not on the idea of memorizing it. Read the material or soak in information and try repeating it to yourself. Also don’t rush into it, putting time frames will automatically divert your attention to the clock then on the topic at hand. So, concentrate on the subject with the desire to learn and not to memorize, the latter will automatically come later once you’ve understood the concept.

2. Look for Answers

When memorizing or testing yourself, if you forget a piece of information then it is better to immediately look it up then strain your mind for an answer. Study shows the more time you spend on trying to remember the answer, the likelier it is that you will forget it again.

3. Multi-Tasking

On contrary to general belief, multi-tasking wastes a lot of time. When moving from one chore to the other, your brain has to readjust to the new information which breaks the flow. It is important that you concentrate on one thing at a time, and if you feel that you are getting tired or bored then take a break rather than distracting your brain with another exercise.

4. Break down Information

Breaking the text, video or audio into smaller sessions will make understanding the subject easier. According to Neil Postman, a professor and cultural critic, exposure to television and the internet have decreased attention spans. It means that after a certain point your concentration is lost and you are probably just doing the exercise without registering anything. So it is better to accumulate information in smaller pieces to insure that it is properly understood.

5. Meditation

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital, after a study, observed that regular meditation thickens the brain’s cerebral cortex which is responsible for higher mental functions like memory, concentration, and learning. So a good meditative routine will not only relax your mind and body but will also improve your learning abilities.

6. Relax

Don’t force yourself to study if you are not in the mood, as it wouldn’t do you much good. If you feel that you aren’t able to concentrate then take a 10 minute nap, or a shower or just a short walk. Doing any of these will relax your muscles and will make your brain more receptive to new information.

Knowledge acquired today is only useful if you remember it tomorrow. So it is appropriate to say that learning and memory go hand in hand. The above mentioned learning tools should be able to help you with both.

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