Learning is one of those wonderful things we can do throughout our lives, however, when we are students we often forget to enjoy this process because we are under the pressure of having to read books, take notes or attend classes just to pass the subjects, not to learn.
That is perhaps one of the worst problems of universities around the world, due to the clear lack of interest that many students show for life learning and in their unique approach to approval, academic success valued in grades and points, which does not ensure any quality learning or for life , by the way.
Learn by reading and being critical of your reading
One of the best ways to learn is to be critical of our readings, with the books and articles we consume. Not just being viewers of the contents but questioning them, debating with colleagues, colleagues and others in our field who have some accurate opinion about what you have just read or discovered. Books and scientific journals are essential to having high academically valued learnings, yet life is what happens among the ideas we exchange with others who share our reality.
Learn faster by taking sensory notes of paper and pencil
This is one of my favorite studio techniques. It consists simply of taking pencil and paper and taking notes in mode 30. This means that not only will we take notes of the class and the texts studied, but we will take notes of everything we see, smell or feel. For example, one thing I used to do before I started taking class grades is write as I smelled that day, which stood out from that day, as I felt myself or my classmates, what sack color my teacher used that day and other details that made the class experience more vivid. This allowed me to reread my notes and start remembering every detail as if I were at the same time I took them. This is a very powerful mind hack and you can apply it to anything you want to remember for a while.
Teach others what you’ve understood
Another great way to retain and apply your learning is to explain to others what you’ve learned. You don’t have to give a master class on that new topic that you just understood, what it’s all about is verbalizing and going through the sieve of your own words that you just understood and that’s going to join all your other previous learnings. What a famous educational author named Ausubel called “meaningful learning.”
That type of learning that has a combination of practical use, that we can evoke to memory vividly, that we can explain orally and that we can question through each of our previous learnings is the one that you will never forget and will accompany you throughout your personal and professional life.
What it’s all about is that at the end of the day you know something else. Not something technical but something with which you feel a deep connection that allows you to say that you now have new information that you can apply to your own field of study or work and that will eventually help others.
Learning fast is not easy however there are many good shortcuts that will allow you to consolidate ideas and thoughts in a practical way for any type of topic or profession you have.
Do you already use some of these techniques?