If we just observe the people near our friends or us, we will observe that some of them are better than us in some ways and others are not. But what distinguishes those from us who are better at remembering data? They follow simple rules which are stated as below. They may be following one or more of these or maybe something other equally effective. Just try to implement the following in your everyday life and see the difference. The steps are basically simple and idea for sharpening the mind.
1. Study for shorter durations rather than longer single sitting. When you go to a gymnasium your body demand some rest after every half an hour or so of exercise depending upon your stamina. Similarly your brain also needs some rest like your body after rigorous mental exercise to rejuvenate itself and get ready for the next session. It would be much better to study for three sessions of two hours each rather than sit continuously for six hours at a stretch. This kind of distributed study is more effective for learning.
2. Do you eat the entire day’s food requirement of your body in the morning? No, at least normal people like you and I don’t. Similarly break up your portions of study into smaller chunks. If a chapter has five different sub-topics then try to do it one at a time. Do one sub-topic, relax for five minutes and then revise for another 5-10 minutes to check if you remember everything and then move over to the next topic and follow the same procedure. This really helps in placing the material of study firmly into your brain.
3. Speak out the material you have to remember loudly. This way you will know precisely how much you know and what you need to concentrate on. Do it after reading the material once or twice to check how much of it has been absorbed into your mind.
4. We must try to find some kind of relevance in the work that we are doing. You can ask some questions to yourself like “why am I doing it” or “will it do any good to me or anybody else for that matter”. Try to make some association of what you are learning with your past or someone you know. This way it becomes more of personal and you are able to remember it easily because it now relates directly to you.
5. When studying and learning something difficult you must try to concentrate as much as possible. Shut all the distractions like music or turn your cell phone onto silent mode, try to avoid answering the doorbell or the phone. Avoiding such, distractions help one to concentrate better on the task.
6. What happens when we draw a line on a piece of paper? It makes a mark that is visible. However, what happens when you draw another superimposing line on it? It becomes darker. The more the number of times that you draw the line, the darker it becomes. Similarly when you repeat a certain material that you learned it becomes imprinted onto your brain. The more the number of times that you repeat, the more firmly that it is imprinted on your mind: Not only does repetition help you create a strong imprint but also increases your confidence in the particular subject. Last but not the least, the darker the imprint, the lesser the time for retrieval.
Hope you find this useful in your everyday learning process. Good luck!