Studying is a combination of various multiple activities like memorizing, conceptualizing or plain application of skills. To add to that, every person has a different style of learning. While we cannot address on all these in one article, we sure can look upon the learning aspect of studies.
A student's quest for knowledge doesn’t necessarily have to be as groundbreaking as those of science and art greats, but it can be an important part of their life, leading to a new job, better pay, a new hobby, or simply knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
You can follow these steps for better and deeper learning of things.
Taking care of health
Movement of body
Sometimes concentrating can be difficult because of lack of flow of blood. If you have not been moving much for a while, make sure to bounce one of your legs for a minute or two. It gets your blood flowing and sharpens both concentration and recall.
Eat healthy and substantial
A lot of students make the mistake of skipping breakfast altogether but that can be disadvantageous as far as learning is concerned because they deprive their brain of important proteins and nutrients which help it to concentrate. Lack of protein can actually cause headaches.
Stress and depression greatly affect the learning and recalling ability of the brain because it is always occupied with other thoughts. Try to de-stress yourself by involving in activities you enjoy. Sometimes, all you need to reduce depression is more white light and fewer refined foods.
Sleep on it
There are a lot of problems which sleeping can solve. If you are stuck with a problem and cannot solve it, or are trying to remember something but can't manage to recollect, sleep on it and more often than not, you will wake up with a solution.
Take a break
Taking a break and changing your surroundings can positively and definitely affect your learning abilities. The brain gets tired from all the information intake and needs rest just like other parts of the body. Taking a short break and going for a stroll or doing anything which relaxes your senses can be highly beneficial for you. Sometimes all you need a short walk to put things into perspective and relieve any kind of stress which could be hindering the learning process.
Change your area of focus
If you do not have enough time to take a break, you can simply switch to a subject which requires a different kind of learning or maybe not so much learning at all. You can come back to the main subject later, without having wasted any time.
Focus on task at hand
Trying to study while watching TV or surfing on the internet might not be a great idea. Divide your activities into study and fun and make time for both so that you do not tire your brain.
Turn out the lights
This is a way to focus, if you are not into meditating. Sit in the dark, block out extraneous influences. This is ideal for learning kinesthetically, such as guitar chord changes.
Take a bath
Taking a bath relaxes mind and the body at the same time. So when you feel you have used your brain too extensively, you can choose to take a bath or a shower to loosen up a bit.
If you have difficulty in learning plain text, try to do it by drawing pictures or diagrams.
Learn symbolism and semiotics
Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols. Having an understanding of the symbols of a particular discipline aids in learning, and also allows you to record information more efficiently.
Making a flowchart for learning a certain concept can help you memorize it for a long time as the brain remembers things put in a sequence more than just randomly spread information. You can also try gliffy for structured diagrams. Also see Inspiration.com for an explanation of webs, idea maps, concept maps, and plots.
Organizing your thoughts on what needs to be done is a powerful way to prepare yourself to complete tasks or learn new topics.
Verbal and Auditory Techniques
It might seem absurd but playing rhyming games, uttering nonsense words can considerably loosen you up and make you more receptive to learning.
This is a process of analyzing things and not putting away any idea on grounds of it being inconsequential. Every thought leads to some kind of solution and hence it should be properly recorded. It helps to brainstorm in a group so that a lot of ideas can floated annd a an easy solution can be reached.
Cognitive enhancers: You can use advanced technologies like binaural beats which involve playing two close frequencies simultaneously to produce alpha, beta, delta, and theta waves, all of which produce either sleeping, restfulness, relaxation, meditativeness, alertness, or concentration.
With such a great number of distractions, it can be difficult to concentrate on one thing for more than ten minutes, let alone remembering them for months. This is where these tips come handy and help you to retain what you have learnt.
There are other tips like self motivation and kinaesthetic techniques which are learning methods we will touch upon in later articles.
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