Learning Strategies: Mind Hacks for Mastering the Information

learningstrategiesDo you ever wonder if you are getting as much as you can from your studies? The mind is a complicated thing, and even if it seems we are being as productive as possible when taking in new information, there are very likely ways to retain and use more of that information than we are able to at present.  We just never would have considered these tactics on our own.

Fortunately, if you are really trying to master a new field of study and need to make sure you get it right, there is a wealth of knowledge yielding plenty of strategies you can use to your advantage. Cognitive science has revealed insights on how we recognize, comprehend, and memorize information, and skilled instructors show us how we can turn these into useable approaches to increase our learning potential.

So if you want to hack your brain for improved learning, you might get a good start in a free course covering mind mastery techniques.  And you can consider specific areas of information mastery you’d like to undertake.  Here are a few examples:

Speed reading

Over thousands of years of technological advancement, including audio and video recordings, we have found great new methods for communicating and sharing ideas. But none of them equal the written word as the chosen medium for disseminating large volumes of detailed information.

This is a good thing, as written communication gives you lots of control over how rapidly and thoroughly you take information in. And if you are reading at roughly the same pace you would speak words out loud, or even if you “hear” the words mentally as you read, you can make some strides in how quickly you take in information and how well you comprehend it.

Most speed reading methods will help you improve your speed dramatically in a very short time and then have you consistently completing exercises to make improvements.  If you have always wanted to read or learn more in a shorter time, or if you just wish you could get through all those emails more quickly, a course on speed reading techniques might be a great option for you to consider.

Memory enhancement

Even if you can read and comprehend a 200 page book in 15 minutes, how are you commiting the information to memory for recall later on. It sounds straightforward, and we may tell ourselves at any given moment, “oh, no problem, I’ll remember that,” but it often doesn’t turn out to be that simple.

Without some tricks to help you remember efficiently, you are likely relying on brute force. Repeat information enough times, and you will probably get it to stick, but it sure takes a lot of time to memorize everything that way.

Fortunately memory is a well researched area of the brain, and the literature on it has lead to some techniques and strategies to help your recall abilities. Much of these are based on your brain’s ability to construct associations (e.g. mnemonics, mind maps, etc.). As it turns out, this is something our minds tend to be great at doing consistently.

You can learn all about your brain’s ability to associate, it’s favorite ways of recalling information, and some ways to harness all this in a course dedicated to memorization strategies. Keep in mind (no pun intended) that if you are working on better memorization in language learning, there are specialists who can help you with that particular skill in a course for memory enhancement in learning foreign languages.

Note-taking

Of course, sometimes your memory is simply not your best guide. There may even be times when information is coming at you in ways you can’t immediately comprehend, let alone memorize.  And for those times… well, you need your notepad.

If the trend so far in this overview has been to say the best method is not always the most intuitive, then note-taking is no exception. It’s a process that seems simple enough: put the pen to paper and write down the major points of what was said. But it turns out that you can miss a lot of that if you don’t apply a good strategy, and there are methods you can use to supercharge your notes.

In addition to hacking your paper-based notes, you can use web apps and native software tools that can help you as well. Evernote is a great option particularly if you are working with web content, and Microsoft OneNote is another good tool if you are working regularly with the Microsoft Office suite.

You can even take a course to enhance your business note-taking skills with Microsoft OneNote. The skills you learn should transfer not only to other software programs, but any situation where you need to take diligent notes.

Study planning and time management

It could be that what you need most to boost your learning is not so much a skill for better retention or cognitive efficiency but a way to get your brain cooperating better.

Without a doubt, it can be difficult to find the time and motivation to dedicate to learning a new skill, no matter how important that skill is. Your brain can even perform some pretty amazing gymnastics when it comes to putting it off.

However, you can learn skills to improve in these areas as well, both in managing time to work on your goals and planning your studies for a no-fail approach. You will thank yourself for how much you find yourself getting done.  Get started with a course in study skills and time management.

Summary

As odd as it may seem, learning how to learn well can take some training. While intuition serves us well in many areas, the information demands of contemporary life often require some additional cognitive strategies if we want to get ahead in our lives. Learning to hack your brain and boost your learning experience isn’t difficult.  It will just take a little practice and dedication. Get started today, and you can get more from your education.