What Is the Best Way to Learn? 10 Effective Learning Tips

Estelle Klemp
Personal skills

Are you often distracted while studying, unable to concentrate and unable to sustainably retain what you are learning? Do your employees want to learn effectively, but they don't know how to recollect what they have learned?

Then you've come to the right place. Because the way you learn has to be learned. Here are 11 tips to make learning easier for you and your team. With the right method, you can remember even difficult content much easier and find fun in learning again.

Repetition anchors what has been learned

Who hasn't been there? You manage to memorize content in a short time, but after a few days you have already forgotten what you have learned. In this case, the content was not transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory. This is achieved by repeating what has been learned several times and thus allowing it to become firmly established in the long-term memory. By doing this, you can make sure you remember the facts in the future. For example, write down key facts from a presentation several times and repeat them before you go to sleep, or hang notes above your desk with what you've learned. Thus, you will unconsciously read the content more often and remember it better.

Take breaks

Don't forget to take regular study breaks. You can only concentrate for a certain period of time and after a certain point everything additionally learned is no longer stored. For example, try the Pomodoro Technique. Work through a 25-minute stretch, rest or 5 minutes and take a longer break after 4 reps. If you want to learn more about this technique or how to effectively manage your time, check out this resource.

Make connections and think of mnemonic devices

Content can be better anchored in the brain when new things are linked with known concepts—in other words, connections are created. One way to do this is to discuss what you have learned with colleagues or create mind maps. Mnemonics are also very helpful. For example, create a rhyming memory sentence such as "59 was the date when Alaska and Hawaii became new states." or to remember how to spell correctly "i" before "e", except after "c" .


Create order and avoid distractions

Create order in your work space. There's a reason the saying goes: tidy room, tidy mind. Make your work space free of distracting stimuli—that means a tidy desk with only the essentials and your cell phone out of sight. Anything that distracts from learning has no place on the desk. Other productivity killers include interruptions, noise, multitasking and social networking. With a little practice, you will soon find it easy to concentrate on a task and avoid these disruptive factors.

Avoid stress and plan buffer times

Try to avoid stress while learning. The fact is that under stress, both short-term memory retention and the ability to concentrate decrease. This is fatal to learning because you become more forgetful. To get around this, you can, for example, create a schedule in which you enter your learning sessions.
Important: Be sure to include buffer times to avoid falling victim to the planning fallacy. After all, we often underestimate how long it takes us to complete a task. So, for example, plan to finish learning two days before the presentation—then you'll have time to review difficult topics and won't get into a time crunch. If you're struggling with your stress management in general, check out the following resource and take our tips to heart.

Treat yourself—reward yourself when you achieve goals

Reward yourself when you achieve a goal, complete a learning session or work through your to-do list. This way, learning is more fun and you stay motivated for a longer period of time. Punishment fo

r failure to achieve a goal, on the other hand, makes little sense. Build events into your schedule that you enjoy and look forward to as you work through the tasks. This could be a cooking evening with friends, but also a walk in the woods with your dog.

Get some sleep!

Sleep is essential for processing and organizing the information we take in. So if you get enough sleep, you'll support your ability to remember. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, leads to a decrease in performance, which negatively affects your learning.

Exercise is good for your body and your brain

You may have noticed that after a workout or a long walk, you were able to study much better than before. In fact, exercise is not only healthy, but also contributes to balance. Studies have also shown that after just six weeks, participants who exercised three times a week had a better ability to concentrate than those who did not exercise at all. So hit the yoga mat, the gym or the sports field.


Create handwritten summaries and notes

As a result of digitalization, it is common to write one's notes and summaries on a laptop. Makes sense—after all, it's much faster than doing it by hand. However, researchers were able to show that students who wrote handwritten notes were significantly superior to students in the laptop group on comprehension question tests. The scientists attribute these results to the following theory: Because of the fast typing on the laptop, people are less likely to think about what they are hearing and less likely to put it into their own words. This also makes it harder for the content to be anchored in the brain.

Consider individual performance curve

Be sure to consider your individual performance curve—and that of your employees! Every person learns differently—some people can concentrate particularly well in the early morning hours, whereas others only flourish in the evening. So if you're a morning person, use the morning for periods of intense concentration and spread breaks and other casual periods throughout the day.

Nobody's perfect

Clearly, you can't always implement all of these tips at the same time. It's best to pick out the advice you think is most effective for you personally. But also be brave and try a tip that is new to you. Maybe it's this tip that will change your learning. Cut yourself some slack, but also practice self-regulation and action control.

Take your learning to another level with these tips. Try them out and see which of these pieces of advice work best for you.

You've already found the right way to learn, but you're still having trouble networking in your job? In this link you will learn how professional networking works.

Want to explore this topic in more depth for your team? We will be happy to provide HR managers with trial access to our e⁠-⁠training courses on this and many other soft skills topics.

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