Learning ability is probably the most important skill you can have. We need to keep learning and remembering all our lives,getting ahead at work takes mastery of job skills and difficult colleagues … If you’re good at learning, you have an advantage in life.
1. Retrieval: Bring it back from memory
When you’re attempting to recall an idea, method, or technique from memory, you’re retrieving. Flash cards are a great example: They force you to recall an idea from memory, unlike a technique such as highlighting where you’re not burning anything into your brain. The reason retrieval’s so effective is that it strengthens the neural pathways associated with a given concept.
2. Elaboration: Connect new ideas to what you already know
When you try to put a new idea into your own words, you’re elaborating.
For instance, if you’re in physics class and trying to understand heat transfer, try to tie the concept into your real-life experiences, say, by imagining how a warm cup of coffee disperses heat into your hands.
3. Interleaving: Varying your subjects
When you work on a variety of things at once, you’re interleaving. If you’re trying to understand a subject — from the basics of economics to hitting a pitch — you’re going to learn better if you mix up your examples. A sports case: Batters who do batting practice with a mix of fastballs, change-ups, and curveballs hit for a higher average. The interleaving helps because when you’re out there in the wild, you need to first discern what kind of problem you’re facing before you can start to find a solution, like a ball coming from a pitcher’s hand.
4. Generation: Answer before you have an answer
When you try to give an answer before it’s given to you, you’re generating. “By wading into the unknown first and puzzling through it, you are far more likely to learn and remember the solution than if somebody first sat down to teach it to you,” the authors write. In an academic setting, you could work finding your own answers before class starts. In a professional setting, you could supply your own ideas when you’re stuck before talking with your boss.
5. Reflection: Evaluate what happened
When you take a few moments to review what happened with a project or meeting, you’re reflecting. You might ask yourself a few questions: What went well? Where can you improve? What does it remind you of? Harvard Business School researchers have found reflective writing to be super powerful. Just 15 minutes of written reflection at the end of the day increased performance by 23% for one group of employees.
Read more at article which originally appeared on http://uk.businessinsider.com