It is easy to sit-back and just absorb the information flowing from the book, podcast, article, or video that you are consuming. It feels natural. You are able to enjoy yourself and maybe even feel "in the flow" of the moment. But, this method of learning is wrong, and I am as guilty of it as anyone!
I want you to think for a moment: how much of the information that you have read or listened to, in the past 24 hours, is available for you to recall at this moment? Do you feel as though you are retaining all of the valuable data that comes from each medium? Or are you like me and feel that you lose a lot of what you worked so hard to consume?
It is normal and frustrating (to say the least) to lose the information that we work so hard to gather and comprehend. Unfortunately, this is how our brain retains information - if you don't use it, you lose it! The problem isn't your way of reading, watching, or listening it's that you didn't have a use "it" until a day came where you really needed it.
I have dealt with this infuriating memory-obstacle for a long time now, trying my hardest to remember all the knowledge that I had consumed - but the effort was futile. We, as humans, are limited by our brains and bodies - it is a fact of life. So we try to optimize what we can in hopes of improving just a little bit.
Many ways of "leveling-up" the brain have been written (like Memory Rescue and Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, both of which I am guilty of reading and enjoying) and many of those have legitimate ways to improve our memory and cognition!
The issue is that there is only so much that we can do to improve our brains before we maximize our brains potential. And besides, memorizing facts and figures endlessly sounds quite boring regardless of how well a method works.
Well there I go, dashing your hopes and dreams of how to better maintain knowledge, and shutting down any potential opportunity to improve... but you see, I'm not saying there is no way of learning more... let me continue!
I am saying there is a limited amount that we can do without assistance - the assistance part is the key. We need help to keep knowledge and give our brains a break. The general principle of the solution is easy, and may seem quite obvious to some. It is the same solution we all accepted as students preparing for exams and quizzes in High School and College... NOTES 🤯
If you want to learn more, retain more, and get better at "knowing", in general: notes are the way to go!
You should be collecting notes on everything that you want to know now as well as everything you may want to know "tomorrow" (which we will get into in subsequent posts, stay tuned and subscribe to my email list).
There are many tips and tricks with notes but the bottom line is that you need to start taking them and keeping them. Typically, the more the better. Be consistent. Be organized about where you put them. And be intentional about going over your notes later to help your memory.
All of these tips help us do what we set out to do: retain information, give the brain a break, and make you better at learning.
This is just the beginning though! There is so much to learn about how, when, why and what to take notes on, to ensure you are being as productive and intentional as possible.