Improve our own retention? Boots up 50 to 60%
Improve our own Retention?
We can use this thinking to improve our own retention. If we want to ingrain information, habits, attitudes, or anything new, we can work our brains to help them absorb and encode more efficiently.
1 LABEL: Name what you want your brain to do. “Let’s learn this new habit,” or “Tonight, we’ll master three conjugations.” This primes your brain’s attention and directs it toward a task. It also prepares it to connect with existing knowledge or action maps. Labels warm your brain up and prepare it to fire, so it’s ready to wire.
2 ENCOURAGE: Imagine a positive result your new habit or knowledge will lead to, then talk about it in positive terms.
Visualize it: top athletes do this as they train to reach audacious goals. Coach yourself toward that goal the way you would a close friend. And give yourself credit as you get a bit closer to it every day. Want to take this to the next level? Invite the Watcher to join in. Having that higher self-reinforce the encouragement increases your brain’s sense of the experience. It may even add to maps in your PFC if you associate your progress with higher-order, mindful goals you’re working on.
3 ASSOCIATES: Build mental bridges between new information or activity and maps your brain has already established. If it’s new habit, do what Stanford behavioral researcher B. j. Fogg recommends: start small, and bridge the new things to something you already do. Want to get more organized? Jot down daily priorities after you press “brew” on your coffee maker. Want to break the unending tech habit? Shut down your electron try gadgets before you floss at night.
Once your new tiny habits are established, you can add to them, building new maps step-by-step until you have a whole new habit.
If it’s new knowledge you’re after, take a page from Foer’s memory book. Associate the thought with visual images or recruit from other brain centers. Moving while visualizing, coming up with rhymes (we can all still sing the alphabet song, right?), or identifying related memories and intentionally connecting the dots: each of these strengthens the maps between established knowledge and new learning.
4 REPEATS: Repetition speeds learning. In fact, it can even convince our brains to replace known facts with known falsehoods (the “illusory fact effect”). If you want to learn faster, extend repetition across different modes. Take what you want to learn, and write it down. Narrate it to a friend, to yourself, even to your dog. Sing about it. Put a reminder in a place you visit every day. If you slip or skip, don’t worry. Start again, and your brain will bridge back to the maps you’ve started and continue building. Stick with it. .repetition is the glue.
5 NIGHTTIME: Your brain prunes while you’re sleeping. It preserves information you’re actively using and tends to let go—slowly but surely—of the stuff you’re not.
If you want to retain something, make sure it doesn’t get pruned at night. Bring it to mind as part of your evening routine. Visualize it as you prepare for sleep. If other thoughts come up, replace them with the things you want to remember. Try using your final moments of wakefulness to remember three things: your main goal for the next day, a longer-term plan you’re working on, and what you appreciated most about your day. These thoughts can override the usual nighttime brain chatter. They bring a sense of peace and purpose. And they may be waiting for you the next morning, priming you to focus on what matters and anticipate what you’ll appreciate most in the day ahead.
Learning is one of those brain activities that sparks a range of happy chemicals. But it can also cause stress. Remember to be patient with yourself as you convert “New” to “Familiar and easy.” Stress chemicals like cortisol can limit activity in certain brain areas, reducing the use of multisensory maps. So be a friend to yourself, like a helpful coach. Invite the Watcher in to join the pep talk. With time and commitment, not only will you have mastered what you wanted to learn, you’ll also have built a new map for how to L*E*A*R*N* the next thing.
This article is taken from The Happiness Hack
Written by Arshad. A