Mastering How to Learn
Do you ever get frustrated at the fact that you cannot recall elements of learning that you got from a course you completed?
And, after a few months all that information starts to elude you completely, not a great investment of time and money in my opinion.
The truth is we do all learn all of the time but usually it’s just a fraction of the information we received that remains with us.
So, how do you store and implement more of what your learning?
Learning to learn is about utilising your brain power in a way that ensures you can take and retain more information.
Being able to do this allows you to explore and experiment with the new knowledge gained.
There are so many very simple things you can do to make the most of all of your new learning.
I say simple and they are, BUT these things take commitment and consistency (as with all things I share with you) and you know you’re worth it.
We have all learned about speed reading and for me the metronome technique works brilliantly! Another great NLP gem.
But, you are still required to get value from what you read by having all the useful stuff stored in your brain, ready for use. That’s what learning to learn s all about.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the learning by rote, and hammering huge amount of information into your brain.
This works but it’s tedious, it’s repetitive, boring and you are simply then able to regurgitate the information you crammed in.
There is no time given to your brain to process, make connections (with Information already between your ears) and consolidate.
Your brain has not been given an opportunity to be creative with the data it has received.
My spacing technique is a great deal more interesting way of revisiting and embedding new knowledge.
Thanks to Herman Ebbinghaus for creating it and demonstrating the impact of the technique (I have created my own system based on this and other theories).
Supporting others in learning to learn.
I have recently been delivering coaching sessions to groups of returning social workers on a fast track programme.
This means they get access to a great deal of knowledge in a very short space of time.
I put together an additional session for them all around reflection and learning to learn.
The session was only a one hour session so I was limited to how much I could cram into that session (believe me I did my best with what I had).
Whilst writing this it’s just dawned on me how useful it would be to have Learning to Learn as a precursor to ant programme.
Giving or students/delegates this knowledge will give them so much more value from every piece of learning they do.
I think you should always refer back to the many techniques that help you to absorb and retain knowledge.
This should be a weekly habit, if it isn’t a habit yet you can make it a habit.
If you start doing this, you will be thanking yourself for years to come as new learning is retained and implemented.
Can you imagine how life would be? Languages become easier to learn, conquering all the funky clever codes on the excel sheet that make accounting and other data easier to manage
Impressing others by having a detailed conversation about a book you read last year.
The list really is endless… as the saying goes ‘knowledge is king’ but only if you can retain it.
As with most things much of what I tell you may not be new to you… you just forgot about it (hehehe!)
The proof of the pudding really is in the doing, experiential learning is the way most of us manage to make sense of the topic in question.
It’s important to point out that the key to retention lies in the how you manage that experiential learning.
Giving Your Brain Time
You need to give you brain a chance to process the information you give it.
As I have previously explained our brains have a built in filter which will filter out too much information.
So forget about swatting for your exams for 10 hours a day, as a great deal of that is being filtered out…
You need to take information in bite sized chunks… we all know that’s the best way to learn but very few of us apply that technique.
Take the Pomodoro technique as a great example , you set the timer for 25 minutes and really focus and apply yourself to your task, then you take a 5 minute break.
This technique was developed to encourage productivity in work but it works just as well when applied to learning.
You see, the 5 min break allows your brain to process and consolidate your learning.
But what happen with your learning then?
Well, as with everything… if you don’t use it you lose it!
I am a big fan of the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve and his findings on spaced learning… this really works, I know I have put it in place in many of the L&D departments where I went in as a consultant.
Spacing simply means creating opportunities to revisit and use the new learning. another very important element of learning to learn.
This could be in the form of a quiz, discussions with peers, reading an article that has a perspective on the learning, telling others about it.
Of course there’s the ‘biggie’ of actually using that new found knowledge at every given opportunity!
I am always learning to learn about how I can help others learn better in general.
Luckily, I tend to put it to good use by creating my own short courses on the subject and applying it to my teaching and coaching, giving my clients as much value as possible.
This knowledge is applied to my work and improving my services or by simply passing on the knowledge to my two reluctant children.
They also from time to time, have to endure my speaking out loud in my aim to digest information more quickly.
I have only started applying this technique wholeheartedly since my accident left me with a bit of neuro damage.
By talking out loud about my new knowledge as if explaining it to someone, helps me to retain it. It’s a well known NLP technique.
Of course, using the newfound knowledge as quickly as possible is also crucial for my brain post-accident, it just works differently now and I have adjusted my approach to learning accordingly.
You may find you need to adjust some of the tips and techniques to suit your unique self, you may discover what works for you when you have that 5 minutes away from learning.
Give your brain a chance to record and store information in a way that aligns with you,.
During that 5 mins your brain may also come up with new ideas relating to the knowledge.
I have said this in more than one blog, webinar and training session: our brains are amazing things and they are there to serve you and you alone.
You just need to learn how to use it in an efficient and effective for it to serve you in an optimum way.
If you’re serious about learning and growing
Join me and the community on my brand-new membership programme.
You’ll get access to my all my courses including how to learn better and of course, me as your fortnightly coach .
This programme has many other courses and benefits included.
It’s currently on offer at a crazy stupid price of just £9.99 a month for the first three months.
After the initial 3 months it will go back to its original and equally crazy affordable price (if you choose to stay).
I am offering at a very special price (33 pennies per day!)for 3 months.
It’s my contribution to post COVID recovery for those who need to gain new skills and knowledge to get the momentum going again.
We have all been challenged, emotionally, psychologically and financially to some degree.
I just want to offer a coaching programme for go getters with lots of passion and a small investment (for now).
This programme will give you so much value without burning a hole in your pocket.