Techniques that Help You Learn and Memorize Things Faster

Apr 30, 2019 By Kayode Oseh

We all learn new things everyday. It could be how to solve a little piece of math, How to read or write, how to cook, how to be a good public speaker. Our minds are constantly evolving with new information base on our observation and learning.

There are a number of ways to train your brain to memorize things faster and enhance learning.

Exercise to clear your head

Exercising is good for our bodies as it has a lot of health benefits, but our brain reaps many benefits as well. Exercise can improve learning and memory, so if you’re having writer’s block or just can’t seem to get through that tough math problem, try walking it off or squeezing in a quick gym session.

A 2013 study found that exercise has immediate benefits on cognition in both younger and older adults — after a simple 15-minute exercise session, study participants showed an improvement in memory and cognitive processing.

Write down things that needs to be memorized

Jotting down the same thing over and over can seem to be very tedious and overwhelming, but this simple activity can work wonders for your memory recall. Research has shown that listing out facts or problems improves the ability to memorize them instead of trying to passively learn them by re-reading.

Further, another study found that taking lecture notes by hand instead of typing them out on a computer helped students better recall the lesson content.

Practice yoga

Yoga is an easy way to improve your brain’s grey matter, which is involved in muscle control and sensory perceptions like speech, memory, decision-making, and seeing.

Research has shown that people who practice yoga show fewer cognitive failures. Amazingly, another 2012 study found that just 20 minutes of yoga boosted study participants’ brain functions, leading them to perform better on brain functioning tests both speed-wise and accuracy-wise.

Study or practice in the afternoon

Even if you consider yourself a “morning” or “nighttime” person, at least one study has shown that buckling down and focusing on a task in the afternoon can have a greater effect on long-term memory training than other times of the day.

Relate new things to what you already know

According to the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, a great brain-based technique for memory retention is to relate new information to what you already know.

“For example, if you are learning about Romeo and Juliet, you might associate what you learn about the play with prior knowledge you have about Shakespeare, the historical period in which the author lived and other relevant information,” the university writes.

Stay away from multitasking

In our technology-driven world, we often mindlessly pick up our smartphones to answer a text or check a social media feed while we’re in the middle of another task. In some situations, the ability to multitask can prove handy, but when it comes to learning a new skill or memorizing information, it’s best to focus on that one thing.

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance suggests that multitasking undermines our efficiency — particularly for complicated or unfamiliar tasks — since it takes extra time to shift mental gears each time an individual shifts between multiple tasks.

Teach other people what you’ve learned

Sharing your newly learned skills or knowledge is an efficient way to further solidify the new information in your brain, according to Loma Linda University. The process of translating the information into your own words helps your brain better understand it, and there are a number of innovative ways to break something down to teach it to others. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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