The Don't Quit Podcast

Learning How to Learn

When it comes to picking up habits such as to learning a new language, an instrument, or just more wisdom, it's important to know how your brain actually learns. While we don't all learn the same way, there are similarities that ultimately help how we gather new information. This allows us to know how we can learn to be more efficient in learning new things.

The brain has a various ways of learning. Here's six of them:

Visual information is easier to learn

Our brains use about half of our processing power to visual information. Even though our brain does multiple things all the time, but according to Discover, 30% of the cortex is devoted to our neurons. The power of that makes it huge as our eyes are using and turn into the information.

Vision takes up all the other senses when it comes to receiving information.

For an example when a large group of wine testers tried samples of wine. The experiment was to drop red dye that can't be smelled or tasted into white wine to see if they could tell the difference. As it turns out they didn't. Vision overtook all the other senses.

Did you know we also see text as we do with images? As you read a book, you're not looking at every letter but the word as a whole. That's why pictures say more words in them because they give more information in a smaller space.

So how to learn from this? Make flash cards with images. Draw pictures or print them out. Colors and illustrations help complex concepts down.

Bigger picture is easier to remember than the finer details.

Hone learning something new, there's always a lot of different concepts that can seem overwhelming. When it comes to a lot of information, looking at the bigger picture allows you to see how everything ends up.

Our brains learn based on gist than the details. So playing to our strengths always allow an easier process.

When information is being inserted in our brains - they are being recognized when there's already similar information stored. So there's a level of a snowball effect in subject that we are already knowledgeable in that make learning similar things easier.

This is why in school they build up in new concepts with similar ones so learning new things isn't as difficult.

Similarity it's like having a closet where you have shelves that you place your information in. Once you start filling it up, then you start organizing them.

How to apply in your life is to make a mind map of what everything is connected to.

Want better learning and memory? get more sleep.

Sleep in between ;learning new things go a lot easier. on average people tend to perform 20% better than those who don't get a full rest of sleep.

Even naps can be just as sufficient. University of California who nap regularly perform on repeated tasks easier than those who don't.

Sleep empties our brain like a sponge so we can absorb new information.

How to apply: Learn something before you sleep or take a nap. You'll remember it easier.

Having no sleep kills your ability to learn new things

Because we don't fully understand why humans sleep is what makes sleep deprivation so scary. Yet we don't feel like it's important at all.

While we can't say why we need sleep, we do know what happens if you don't sleep. When we're tired, we don't feel like doing more challenging things. Physical injuries and sickness also tie into the lack of sleep.

About 40% of your brain power goes away when you're tired. Compared to a well rested night, ready to wake up, and do work, that all nighter wasn't worth it.

Harvard medical school study says the 30 hours after learning a new skills is the most vital in recalling it. During that time, you should have some sleep as they don't wear off as much as it should.

How to apply: Don't spend all night doing something (or all day) without sleep. Always have a set time for a snooze.

Teaching others recalls memory like no other

When you have to teach something to another person, you're recalling past information in a way that can be remembered to them. So the ability to say recurring information in your words allows you to recall them much easier.

One of the studies by Dr. John Nestojko shown that those who taught rather than studied information to remember where able to recall more. His conclusion came from the student's mindsets made the difference.

Those with a different task in how to recall made it more effective and overall more useful in recalling information. We focus on the more portent pieces of information and concepts that we form in our minds.

How to apply: Write lessons as if you were to teach someone else what you've just learned.

Interleaved information is easier to learn.

'Block practice' is what Dick Schmidt, a UCLA researcher is a common learning technique people use without knowing. When you practice something every day, that's block practice. Like you study trigonometry or practice a baseball pitch.

Schmidt also says that a approach everyone should try is interleaving. Which is the mix of learning and implementing skills you practice. Bob Bjork, a colleague of Schmidt. Is one of the most knowledgeable people in that area.

In one of their experiences, that have multiple artists about the different painting styles by showing images on a screen. Some where shown through block practice of doing it what they are shown. The others were interleaved through mixed together of learning and doing.

When the two groups were then seen the results of their paintings, the interleaving group were able to achieve more of array of paintings in a faster amount of time. Despite about 70% of the participates say the block practice was more effective. So what we think how we work based might not be true.

Bjork has stated interleaving works better because it pays into the human mind of knowing patterns and outliers. When applied in real world problems, we are then able to review the information regularly due to the received information.

How to apply: Practice interleaving existing techniques with new ones. Learn how to paint with different painting styles, learn golf by practicing different swings. In learning new information, you want to mix it with existing ones.

This is learning smart as you always have to be top of industry trends or upcoming technology. So knowing how you learn is so important because are always learning.


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