Boosting Your Memory to Retain 90% of What You Learn

Whether you are learning a foreign language, a new sport or how to play an instrument, the benefit you get through accelerated learning is immense. However, the biggest challenge most people go through is remembering what they have learnt because there is so much that goes on in the day and time is limited. The key to accelerated learning is in combining more hours with the effectiveness of the time you spend learning.

The Bucket and Water Analogy

If you were to fill a bucket with water, nothing will run out until the bucket is full as long as there is no leakage. However, our brains function differently. As a matter of fact, most of the information that at one point enters our brains eventually leak out. Instead of looking at the brain as a bucket which retains everything we put in it, we should perceive it as a leaking bucket. The brain wasn’t designed to remember every bit of information or experience you go through in life.

Remembering 90% of Everything

The learning pyramid developed in the 1960s and largely attributed to the NTL Institute in Bethel, Maine, has an outline on how humans learn. According to research, people remember:

  • About 5% of what they learn in lectures
  • 10% of what they read in books
  • 20% of the learning from audio visuals
  • 30% from demonstrations
  • 50% in group discussions
  • 75% through practice
  • 90% of what they learn when they immediately put it to use such as by teaching others

In light of the above, there seems to be a disconnect in the way we learn and our desire to remember. Mostly, we use videos, classroom lectures and books all of which are non-interactive learning methods that result into 80 to 95% information leakage. Instead of forcing your brain to remember information through passive methods, your focus should be on participatory methods that deliver more effective results within a short time. This means:

If you want to quickly learn how to speak a foreign language, your focus should be on speaking with native speakers who give you an immediate feedback.

If you want to get in shape fast, work with a personal fitness trainer instead of spending your energy and time watching YouTube videos.

Hiring a local music teacher can enable you learn a new instrument faster.

Balancing between Time and Money

You have heard many times people saying they don’t have the time to do something. However, time is the greatest equalizer because irrespective of where you are, who you are, and how much you strive for efficiency, you only have 24 hours in a day. Every minute is unique and once it passes, it can never be regained unlike money that you can find later.

If it is true that we all have 24 hours, how then is it that some people become successful at a young age irrespective of their background while others lament in poverty. The answer is simple; they have learnt how to maximize on effectiveness instead of efficiency.

Making the most of your time by focusing on solutions that deliver the greatest impact is what matters.

Learning how to remember more information daily can significantly cut the time you need to relearn old knowledge and help you on acquiring new ones.

Instead of going for small wins, go for big wins that are effective in your learning process. Getting into discussion groups, practicing by doing and teaching others can help you remember lots of information and this will be to your advantage.