Memory and the ability to retain/recall information is crucial for progressing in any skill. The better you can do this, the quicker you can become a master at your creative pursuits.
Here are some of the best techniques I’ve learned from people much smarter than myself to improve memory, focus, and overall intellect.
1. Move while you learn!
Tim Ferriss, world renowned developer of many accelerated learning techniques, frequently incorporates exercise or movement into his learning process. For example, in his TV show the Tim Ferriss Experiment, he was tasked with learning a new language in 5 days. He spent a fair amount of his study time riding a stationary bicycle.
2. Play video games… seriously.
The days of our parents telling us that playing video games rots your brain are over.
There are gobs of studies and quantified data that shows how much your brain improves from gaming, in areas such as problem solving, critical thinking, memory, and focus. Beneficial games include anything from role playing, racing, first person shooter, strategy, and puzzles.
Some of my favorite online brain games are:
3. Teach someone what you’ve learned as soon as possible.
Teaching a skill immediately after you’ve learned it drastically helps in the retention of that information. To quote the most quoted person in history:
“If you cannot explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”
– Albert Einstein
4. Implement what you’ve learned in a real world situation.
- Perform a task WHILE you watch the tutorial, not after (and take notes of course).
- Learning a new language? Have a conversation with someone fluent in it ASAP.
When you actually implement what you learn, your neural connections
for that memory strengthen because now there are motor skills and other sensory inputs associated with it. The quicker you do this, the better you’ll retain it.
Teaching increases retention of information (an example)
CNN post on video game usage
Video Games impact on multitasking and learning
The impact of movement on learning