With these 13 learning tips, you’ll memorize the material twice as fast

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In school you learn a lot of important things like German, Math and English, just learning tips and tips to improve your self-management (you can learn more about that on Self-ManagementRocks) you rarely get. Therefore, in this article I have collected 13 tips that will help you understand the material faster and learn it much more efficiently. So let’s get right to it:

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If you are highly focused and concentrated, you will be able to learn more content in less time. The problem: We are constantly disturbed, distracted and interrupted. On the one hand from our own thoughts and on the other hand from other people.

The good news is that you can change this relatively easily with a few basic measures and your own focus strategy. You can find out how exactly that works in this book here:

The goal may well be different. In school and university, perhaps the grade counts as the goal. This is usually the case if you can’t get anything else out of the subject. So either an A, because of the grade average, or simply a D to pass.

On the other hand, of course, skill (for example, learning a language), or knowledge (for example, human anatomy) can also be the motive behind it.

Important: Find out the WHY, because then learning is much easier.

Here’s an example: Open Google Maps and type in "Oberndorfstrabe, Vienna". And you know your way around? If you don’t happen to be from Vienna and know the Oberndorfstrabe, then I guess not. Ok and now zoom out so that you have all of Vienna on your screen. And what happened? You can already better classify where Oberndorfstrabe is located in Vienna. And it is the same with learning!

But how do you get an overview now :

Blurb of the book

Research on the Internet

Read summaries on this topic

To continue learning efficiently you need to ask yourself the question: What has the greatest benefit for me??

I would like to underline this with a few examples:

Let’s assume you are learning a new language. Well then it would make sense to start with those vocabulary words you will need the most, resp. which are used most in the respective language. For example: If I master these 500 words, I can read 90% of all texts!

Or let’s say you have an exam in medicine. The subjects of anatomy and anesthesiology are each considered 40% in this exam when it comes to the grade. All the other five audit areas share the remaining 20%. So it would probably make a lot of sense to invest most of your time in these two exam areas and almost neglect the others if you want to pass.

Especially with exams, you definitely need to use common sense. Pay attention to the Pareto principle: Achieve 80% effect with 20% effort.

Also, you could put yourself in the position of the teacher or professor and think: "What questions would I ask if I were taking the exam??"

So do a little research first, that will save you a lot of time while learning.

Try to understand the context after each class session. Simple memorization may help you in school or get you through some minor exams.

But if you really want to learn something, you have to understand the context. Take enough time for this activity, because once you understand the context, learning is much easier.

If you can’t figure it out on your own, seek help from fellow students or your teacher.

Create a study plan, because this way you get an overview of what you have to learn. Here is an example:

Learning plan

Download as pdf-file: Learning planning

In the next step you set milestones and deadlines for yourself. This is especially important if the subject area is very large. Every milestone you pass brings you closer to your goal and motivates you even more.

Limit your time for each chapter. Why? This is the only way to concentrate on the essentials. Therefore, I would set a time limit for all learning steps in order not to get bogged down.

Consider leaving a buffer before the exam for reviewing the material and taking a mock exam.

Before and after each seminar, each teaching unit and each course, I would take a little time before and after if I were you.

Preparation time

Even before the course or unit, take the time to read the material crosswise, look at the table of contents, look a little at the graphics, and talk to other people about the topic. Just get a good overview of the subject matter. Why?

This way you can follow the lessons better,

absorb new knowledge more quickly,

ask specific questions and

save a lot of time for learning afterwards.

Make up time

After the course, try to process the new information immediately. If it’s a lecture at the university, 30 minutes before is usually enough. If you still go to school, you could also take an hour before school for the individual subjects and an hour after school to work on everything.

The newly learned knowledge can percolate.

You might even be able to put it to practical use.

You can write down notes or add to them.

You can work out connections and understanding.

When I go to a seminar or a training course, for example, I always try to be at the respective location one day before the course starts in order to be able to prepare myself in peace and quiet, and I usually stay for one or two days afterwards in order to plan the follow-up and the transfer into practice.

That’s logical, you might think, but here are some additional tips:

The narrative, interview and lecture trick

Use this trick to keep your concentration high when everyone else is already falling asleep :-).

Follow the lessons in such a way (this also applies to reading texts, by the way), that you can immediately afterwards,

you can tell about it,

give an interview about the material,

give a lecture on the material, or

Write a short article for a newspaper.

Pay attention to hints during the lesson

This point is especially important for exams. Watch out for hints like "this chapter is not so important", "I attach great importance to this", "please have a closer look at this example".

With statements like these, you can already filter out a lot of information about the exam questions.

Use an intelligent system for transcripts and notes

Most people I know just write everything down in a sausage. But this is fundamentally wrong.

Template Mitschirft

Download as pdf file: Transcripts

I use this system for almost all transcripts, also for online seminars, webinars and video courses. Also with books I read I write down here after each chapter the most important thing.

So you have everything much better in the overview and also the understanding is trained!

Here, too, you can gain a lot of mental advantages with a few time management tips:

Always start with the most difficult and unpleasant:
Once you have checked off this point, everything else will be easy to do.

Figure out for yourself how you learn best:
Daily one hour, once a week 8 hours? However you have to feel comfortable and the output has to fit.

Just don’t forget about the breaks:
Depending on the substance, I would take a short break after 20-50 minutes. At the latest when you notice that your concentration is decreasing and your thoughts are slipping more and more.
In these breaks, do little things like tidy up your apartment, make coffee, do a few pull-ups or similar things.
Especially if you learn by heart, you have to take many small breaks.

With these 13 learning tips, you'll memorize the material twice as fast

To understand the learned also actually and not only stupidly learn by heart is the um and on. Therefore, I have collected here a few tips on how to understand the learned a little better:

Interviewe you yourself to the respective learning topic
This tip may sound a little silly, but for me this is one of the most effective ways to acquire understanding about a subject area.
When I was cramming for my sports mental trainer exam, I used almost every car ride to interview myself and it was really a very effective way to gain understanding.

Imagine the learning situation
To take my Sportmental training as an example again: There I pictured myself working with a client and doing single exercises with him.

Try everything practically
Of course this is not possible in every area. But there are many areas where you can try out. For example, I have asked a friend to use him as a guinea pig for my Sportmental exercises. This practice has helped me a lot to understand the background and context of each exercise.

Introduce the topic
Tell friends or family about it. I use my job as a soccer coach to introduce my fellow coaches to the topic of sports mental training through a lecture.

Write a short summary (maximum one A4 page)
Of course, this does not always work out either. However, after I have finished reading a book, I try this trick. I try to summarize the book on a single A4 page.

Find a study group
In principle, a study group is nothing more than 3 to 4 like-minded people with whom you discuss the material together. This way you also get the valuable views and opinions of others on this topic.
Shortly before the exam it then makes sense to put together an exam for each other. So you also have a pretty good chance to find out the questions that the professor might ask as well.

Think the learned material further
With security one of the most difficult tasks, but straight if one thinks certain things further, one recognizes many further connections.

You don’t have to be a great professor to know that you especially like to learn those things that you like to do and have fun doing.

But how can you now develop this fun?

Develop a childlike curiosity for the new, the unknown.

Study with friends, it’s always more fun than studying alone.

Find the right place to learn. Where is the easiest place for you to learn? Where repeating the material? Find the places in your home, or outside, that are conducive to doing this. Walt Disney did this in a slightly modified form for your projects (you can read about it here: The Walt Disney Method).

Create the right environment for yourself, trying to appeal to all the senses as much as possible, or at least making sure they are not impaired. Maybe the smell of a candle will help you to concentrate, the smell of the Wiener Schnitzel your girlfriend is frying will probably be a hindrance. It will be the same with the different music styles.
Experiment a little here!

The problem is, the best and most suitable ones are unfortunately not always the recommended ones, resp. the scripts you are provided with.

If the literature is not suitable, I recommend the following approach:

Take the table of contents and search by the keywords there.

Just Google everything.

Search for books with similar content.

Use summaries (for example getabstract)

If you can’t find anything else, you have to work with the existing literature. But then you should immediately exclude unnecessary chapters and try to filter out the most important points and then continue working on the basis of these.

To be able to work in a really focused and concentrated way, you should keep a few things in mind:

Turn off all sources of interference (cell phone, e-mails, social media, etc.), ..)

Make sure you have enough fluids and snacks (preferably water and trail mix)

Learn as you go. This raises your pulse a bit, and researchers have found that when you have a learning pulse, you learn much more efficiently.

Repeat the learned material ideally 6 times!

Study aloud (say everything aloud to yourself).

Learn with flashcards. How this works you can find out here and where you can get some here.

If you need to learn vocabulary, put it in order first (z.B. health, job, vacation). To be able to structure the learning material of other subjects I recommend the use of mind maps.

Reminders can be for example small drawings. Our brain is much better at remembering things that are presented pictorially. For example, if you have to learn the vocabulary word "rich", it makes sense to put a € or $ sign next to it. If you are artistically talented, you can also draw Donald Duck jumping into his money bin :-).

I would also like to briefly mention the keywords chunking, storytelling and visual codes. To explain all this in more detail here would go beyond the scope of this topic, so I recommend that you simply click on the respective links!

With these 13 learning tips, you'll memorize the material twice as fast

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