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Whether or not we enjoy it, most of us read. We read social media posts, memes, editorials, magazine articles, flyers, website copy, snail mail, and any number of news outlets.
When it comes to learning new things reading is a great, but it’s when we experiment and put our newly acquired knowledge into practice that the real magic happens. Studying, the act of dissecting and analyzing recently learned information to find opportunities for real life application, enhances our ability to retain that knowledge. When we can find interesting ways to apply our new skills, we’re more likely to keep the information stored in our memory.
Thankfully I love to read, so as my self-care practice for the day, I spent several hours pouring over 18 weeks of material that was covered in a training course that I’ve been participating in. I’ve been exploring new opportunities to use some of the skills I’ve learned, and I have to say that it’s been really fun.
For me, the most effective learning strategy has always been to write (and rewrite) the information that I want to retain. In high school and college, I spent hours organizing my notes until the information was firmly imprinted in my memory. I guess writing has always been a therapeutic way for me to make sense of the world.
Nevertheless, studying does offer us a chance to dig deeper and reach further–toward what we want to accomplish or become in life.
What is your most effective learning strategy?