Our brains are constantly taking in new information every single moment of every single day. Because of these, we forget almost 85% of what we see and learn every day. If not, our brains will explode into a million pieces with all that information.
This is true when we are learning new information for the first time. if we don’t make the information or ideas, we are learning relevant our brains will delete them.
So, in this article, we will discuss some ideas on how to remember everything you learn.
Let’s Dive In.
Get The Big Picture
It is popular for students to enter into a topic without getting a bird’s eye view of what is going on as a whole. We most often jump straight into the details. We therefore lack the mental hooks to make our current study relevant to us. Consequently, we end up forgetting what we learn in a short amount of time.
If you want to remember more, spend time thinking about the bigger picture, relating the current idea you are trying to digest to your prior knowledge, and asking a lot of questions. What happens is that the new information latches onto the old information you have in your brain.
Analogies are mental hooks we use to unite a familiar idea in your mind to a new idea coming into your brain. It forces your brain to see the new information as relevant and store it in your memory permanently.
In simple terms, it is a way to simplify complex information by comparing it to a simpler one.
For example, an analogy for how the brain works can be made simple by likening it to a processing machine. We all know how manufacturing companies use processing devices to build products. They also require input to bring out an output. Likewise, the brain receives input in the form of information and ideas, processes it internally, and outputs a product in the form of an idea or understanding.
When you use analogies, you can retain and remember information faster and easily.
When you learn information for the first time, you feel as if it has been registered in your brain forever. But come back a few days later and you might not remember half of the concepts you learned. Your brain requires repetition just like our muscles. The more you exercise it the stronger it becomes.
This is embedded in the quote “Neurons that fire together, wire together”. The more you rehearse a particular piece of information, the better it sticks. We are not here saying you should regurgitate information with the hope that it sticks. You need to understand the information and then rehearse it over days and weeks. It helps you send that information into your long-term memory.
So, learn information in spaced intervals and you will remember them for a long time.
Visualize the Learning Process
Visualization is one of the best ways to learn and retain information. Gone is the idea of learning styles that people are different. Some learn visually and others verbally. People just love and repeat what they feel comfortable with.
Anyone can apply the concept of visualization to encode information. The key is to associate images and visuals to the ideas you are currently learning. For example, it is easy to memorize vocabulary when you associate the string of words to images that are already locked in your memory. Take the word ‘facetious” which means someone you should not take seriously because they joke a lot. You can associate the meaning of that word with a funny clown or someone in your life.
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Make Questioning A Habit
Questions are the keys to learning. Anybody who has mastered their learning did so by asking a lot of questions. No matter the subject matter, questions are a key part of the learning process.
In simple terms, questions are like glues that bind the concepts you learn together. The more questions you ask, the more connections you can make between different ideas both prior and new. This helps consolidate and attach new ideas to old pieces of information already stored in your brain.