Turbo-Charge Your Memory (for Adult learners): 10 steps to memory excellence and exam success
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He makes it a priority, and he cuts out time from other activities. The lone exception to this is during football season where I watch one game a week. If you look at it in terms of raw numbers, the average person watches 35 hours of TV each week, the average commute time is one hour per day round-trip, and you can spend at least another hour per week for grocery shopping. Certainly the technology is intended to be easy-to-use, portable, and convenient.
Those factors alone could make it easier to spend more time reading when you have a spare minute. Perhaps the key to reading more books is simply to look at the act of reading from a different perspective? How might these new definitions alter your reading total for the year? A great place to start with book retention is with understanding some key ways our brain stores information. Here are three specific elements to consider :. You loved the information and want to remember as much as possible.
Impression — Be impressed with the text. Stop and picture a scene in your mind, even adding elements like greatness, shock, or a cameo from yourself to make the impression stronger. If Dale Carnegie is explaining his distaste for criticism, picture yourself receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace and then spiking the Nobel Prize onto the dais.
Another trick with impression is to read an important passage out loud. For some of us, our sensitivity to information can be greater with sounds rather than visuals. Association — Link the text to something you already know. This technique is used to great effect with memorization and the construction of memory palaces.
Prior knowledge is a great way to build association.
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Repetition — The more you repeat, the more you remember. This can occur by literally re-reading a certain passage or in highlighting it or writing it down then returning to it again later. Practicing these three elements of remembering will help you get better and better. Focus on the four levels of reading. Each step builds upon the previous step. Elementary reading is what you are taught in school. Where the real work and the real retention begins is with analytical reading and syntopical reading.
With analytical reading, you read a book thoroughly. More so than that even, you read a book according to four rules, which should help you with the context and understanding of the book. The final level of reading is syntopical, which requires that you read books on the same subject and challenge yourself to compare and contrast as you go.
As you advance through these levels, you will find yourself incorporating the brain techniques of impression, association, and repetition along the way.
Keep the book close or at least your notes on the book. One of the most common threads in my research into remembering more of the books you read is this: Take good notes. Use your Kindle Highlights extensively. Shane Parrish of Farnam Street is a serial note taker , and he finds himself constantly returning to the books he reads.
To Learn, Students Need to DO Something
After I finish a book, I let it age for a week or two and then pick it up again. I write them down. Or let it age for another week or two. Once forgetfulness has set in, he can use these notes to rediscover his opinion of the author and his work at the time of his original reading. We can assume that another function of the notes is to assure him that he has indeed read the works in which they were inscribed, like blazes on a trail that are intended to show the way during future periods of amnesia.
I look at books as investments in a future of learning rather than a fleeting moment of insight, soon to be forgotten. Kindle has a rather helpful feature online, too, where it shows you a daily, random highlight from your archive of highlights. Let it be as simple as possible to complete so that you can make sure you follow through. How many books do you read each year?
Why Is This Happening?
What will be your goal for this year? Originally written Jun 24, Last updated Sep 7, That was a pretty cool test! I read wpm. Better go pick up a book today…. Thanks for sharing this, Laura!
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Audiobooks is a great suggestion! So neat how you incorporate the audiobooks with note taking. Great idea! I use my ipod for books, sermons, lectures, etc. I can easily enough connect it to speakers and I also use it in my car. There are apps that work with your local library that allow you to borrow audiobooks for no charge. Absolutely — listening to audio books on my commute has restored my previous voracious reading habits which had got squeezed out by being just too busy.
I love audio books since it allows me to imagine the scene as a steady pace. It is much like rendering scenes very quickly.
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I set a simpler goal this year something more achievable! However, my 30th birthday was in January and my goal was to complete the entire Bible from Genesis — Revelations before I officially became over-the-hill. My bad! I did take the Staples test it was cool — thanks for the suggestion! I love hearing about your experience here, Thea! Thanks so much for taking the time to share. Will love to hear what you end up reading next. Now, I have a great summary of the important thoughts. Fantastic idea, Ferenc! I imagine your co-founder is super grateful for this! Have you found an easy way to get Kindle highlights to Evernote?
Yes, he likes this idea. The notebook is shared between us, so both of us get the updates on any books read. As far as I know, there is no easy way to extract Kindle highlights. What I do is: 1. I used to type all my notes in manually from Post-It note bookmarks inside my texts.
One thing I could not crack yet is how to do this for real books. Maybe a text recognizer mobile app would be useful. I could photo the page I want to copy, the app would recognize the text then copy to Evernote. I make copious notes, which reinforces everything. I tend to retain almost everything I read thereby, even in the heaver cosmology and philosophy books.
I have tried electronic readers and I can do that and will continue to , but so much of the joy of reading is lost for me without a real physical book and pen in hand. Ebooks are easier to store, search and I get them immediately when I shop. Pen and pencil for physical books is a good idea!
However, I prefer Evernote in this case too: after reading a chapter, I take notes or write a quick summary. This is a fantastic post! Reading books all day — sounds like my dream job! I typically have 3 or 4 partially-read books lying around, and often feel like I need to read them thoroughly cover to cover.