How to improve learning efficiency

In the modern world, a person constantly learns something: school, college, institute, advanced training courses, learning marathons, trainings, etc.
At the same time, we devote a lot of effort, energy, and time to learning. But do we know how to get the maximum effect from learning? Can we truly immerse ourselves in the learning process? Do we apply what we have learned? Unfortunately, not always.

We get a lot of advice on how to study properly from the older generation. But in fact, everyone has their learning strategies, effective for one person and useless for another. We have prepared some tips to help you build your learning strategy in today's world, increase your learning efficiency and use your resources in the right way.

We have divided the tips into two categories: 1 – basic and 2 – auxiliary.
Category 1: Basic Tips
  • 1. Put away your smartphone
    In the modern world, this advice has become No. 1. Distractions interfere with the uptake of content. It is a mistake to assume that you will not be distracted by your smartphone if you switch it to silent mode, but leave it on the table. When a new message is received on a smartphone, the brain will instantly switch to the illuminated screen of the smartphone and for some time will lose the ability to absorb/process new information. As a result, the material that was studied at that moment will either not be mastered at all (which will lead to gaps in knowledge), or will require re-study (which will require additional resources).
  • 2. Write down what matters
    When we write down important points while studying, we engage our fine motor skills, which requires more parts of the brain to work. And this is the key to a better memorization of information. Writing is more effective than reading or listening.
  • 3. Sleep well
    Proper sleep is one of the most important tips that really help us remember. When a person sleeps, the brain processes and stores the information learned during the day, moving it from short-term memory to long-term memory. Therefore, it is more likely to remember the material if you get enough sleep.

    Remember that it is recommended to sleep at least 8 hours.
  • 4. Eat right
    It is very difficult to study on an empty stomach, the brain will constantly be distracted from learning and pay attention to the fact that you are hungry and something needs to be done about it. Therefore, we must not forget about timely meals. But not all food can feed the brain and help it tune in to the learning process. Scientists identify the following foods that are useful for the brain: nuts, seeds, eggs, avocados, oil-rich fish, hard cheeses, etc.
  • 5. Engage in sports activities
    Light physical activities help to recharge the brain, which makes it easier to concentrate on studying. Go for a run, ride a bike, briskly walk around the house, or just jump.
Basic tips will help you learn new material in 90% of cases.
But, unfortunately, there is training that will still be difficult. Perhaps this is because the topic is far from you, the material is presented uninterestingly or there is no proper motivation.

We have picked up a few more tips to help even in this difficult situation.
Category 2: Auxiliary Tips
  • 6. Find intrinsic motivation
    Intrinsic motivation is based on the values and interests of a particular person. For example, you have dreamed of saving lives since childhood, and so you became a first-class surgeon who performs unique operations. It is intrinsic motivation that is often a reliable driver of learning. It helps not to give up and not to quit when things are tough.

    Try to find your intrinsic motivation. The following questions will help:
    • Why do I need this training?
    • How will my life change if I successfully complete my studies?

    If the answers to these questions are not enough motivating, and you can't refuse to study, come up with a reward as a motivation that you will please yourself with at the end of the training.
  • 7. Take breaks
    The brain needs a break because a clear head helps you assimilate information. Regular breaks keep you motivated and increase your productivity.

    We recommend taking a 10-minute break for an hour of training. During the break it is better to change the type of activity: do light exercises, have a snack, change the place of study (if possible, you can move from one table to another, or if you study at home, from one room to another).
  • 8. Make a plan
    A study schedule with a certain number of steps (topics) and deadlines (tests or exams) will allow you to see the entire path ahead. Evaluate the critical points when you need to finish the job by a specific deadline. If you study for yourself, the plan will help you start working seriously and give you additional motivation.
  • 9. Put it into practice
    It's not enough to learn it once for the information to stay with you forever. Unused information eventually goes from the active memory to the passive memory, where it is very difficult to get. So if you don't want to lose information irretrievably, try to find practical applications for your knowledge. Even if they are, at first glance, theoretical, you can have discussions with friends, colleagues, and fellow students, read or write articles on your topic, etc.