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Becoming a Better Learner

by Beth on February 9th, 2023

Jim Kwik’s latest book, Limitless, teaches us how to upgrade our brain and learn faster. In it, he shares strategies for improving focus, memory, reading speed, and study habits.

Kwik begins by identifying what he refers to as the four supervillains of learning:

  1. Digital deluge – the overwhelming amount of information we have access to and how much we consume daily
  2. Digital distraction – the struggle to stay focused while being constantly connected and distracted by notifications
  3. Digital dementia – the deterioration of short-term memory as a result of using our devices to remember everything
  4. Digital deduction – the influence of the Internet over our thinking and decision-making

I must admit I struggle with all four. While I was well aware of how distracted and deluged with information I am, I now see that I no longer need to remember phone numbers or directions, nor think critically on my own. There are plenty of opinions out there with which to simply agree or disagree. I can feel my brain turning to mush!

I’ve started trying out some of the methods Kwik offers for accelerated learning. Here are a few:

  • Listening to Baroque music can help you focus.
  • Visualization can help you remember. Attach an image to a person’s name. Assign talking points to rooms in your house.
  • Avoiding subvocalization, the voice inside your head when you read, can help you read faster.
  • Using your finger to read increases your speed because your eye is attracted to motion.

On a more general level, you can use the FASTER method to learn anything quickly.

  • F is for forget – Forget what you already know, so your mind will be open to new things, and forget everything around you so that you can focus.
  • A is for act – Become more active in your learning, taking notes, highlighting key points.
  • S is for state – Learning is influenced by your state of emotions. Choose states of joy, curiosity, and fascination.
  • T is for teach – Learn with the intention of teaching the information to someone else.
  • E is for enter – Enter learning on your calendar, so you will be sure to spend time on your personal growth.
  • R is for review – Spaced repetition is the best way to reduce the effects of the forgetting curve. Reviewing information over multiple, spread-out sessions improves retention.

Kwik believes “If knowledge is power, then learning is a superpower.” Learning how to learn better and faster can help you live an exceptional life.

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