How to study smart and learn anything faster?

Studying for long hours is only beneficial if done in the proper way. If you are not studying in the right manner, it is a certainty that all those hours would not lead to desired results. By tweaking your studying techniques backed by scientific research you can improve the quality of the content learnt and can also retain it for a longer time.

 1. Focused and diffused learning

Use both focused and diffuse modes of learning. Focused mode is when you focus attentively on a topic and study it with no distraction. After doing this for some time (can follow the Pomodoro technique), you can switch over to some other tasks. In this time period, the brain works on the material learnt, processing and understanding it. This is a reason why if you cannot understand something, you can grasp it easily when you visit it later.

2. Play hard, study smart

Include activities such as exercising, walking, playing any sport in your daily timetable. These physical activities assist your brain in understanding unfamiliar topics and concepts. Do not think of them as just another pastime. It is not smart to only study for the entire day with zero physical activity. 

3. Sleep!

Sleeping is very crucial to your learning. Waking up the night before the exam and cramming the entire night can help in the short term but it is not at all helpful when it comes to longer retention span. Sleeping helps in clearing the toxins produced in the brain during the day and consolidates the material learnt.

4. Spaced studying

Make sure that your learning is spaced over a period of days. Learn every day, this gives the time to make the previous concepts stronger and understand the new things in a better way. It is not smart to study a lot one day and then not studying anything for the next five days.

5. Apply what you have learnt

Practice what you have learnt. If you cannot solve a problem, do not see the solution immediately. Try using the concepts that you have learnt and if you are still stuck use hints if available. After exhausting all paths, you can check the solution but make sure to actually work it out. Just reading the solution is not enough. 

6. Mixing up things

After mastering one topic do not stick to it, move to newer concepts. This might seem difficult and it is quite likely that you would end up procrastinating, but start anyhow. Reading the same concepts might give you the sense of progress but you should be real to yourself. 

7. Learning from basics

When learning a new concept, approach it right from the basics and then explain it to yourself in simpler terms. This is also known as Feynman’s technique and it is very effective when dealing with difficult and layered topics.

8. Watch out for new ideas

Be open to new ideas and techniques when solving problems. If you are acquainted with a method, you might often feel that it is the most effective approach. This can block you from knowing and trying better techniques that exist. So be receptive to learning new things.

9. Consistent learning

Learning compounds with consistency. Even if you have started late, do a regular portion everyday. An essential aspect of smart study is to identify the power of regular learning. Throughout human history, there are many examples of people who have started late and achieved mastery in their field.

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