Whether you’re learning Spanish, a new instrument, or a new sport, we could all benefit from accelerated learning. But the problem is, there’s only so much time in the day.
The key to accelerated learning is not just putting in more hours, but maximizing the effectiveness of the time spent learning.
The Bucket And Water Analogy
Let’s say you were to fill up a bucket with water. Most buckets should not have any problem retaining the water inside, until it starts overflowing at the top.
But in reality, this isn’t how our brains function. In fact, most of the information that enters our brain leaks out eventually. Instead of looking at our brain’s memory as a bucket that retains everything, we should treat it for what it is: a leaking bucket.
While the leaky bucket analogy may sound like a negative connotation, it’s perfectly normal. Unless you were born with a photographic memory, our brains weren’t designed to remember every fact, information, or experience that we go through in our lives.
As research shows, it turns out that humans remember:
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture (i.e. university/college lectures)
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading (i.e. books, articles)
20% of what they learn from audio-visual (i.e. apps, videos)
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
90% of what they learn when they use immediately (or teach others)
Books, classroom lectures, videos — non-interactive learning methods that results in 80-95% of information going in one ear and leaking out the other.
The point here is that instead of forcing our brains on how to remember more information with “passive” methods, we should focus our time, energy, and resources on “participatory” methods that have proven to deliver more effective results, in less time.
This means that:
If you want to learn how to speak a foreign language, you should focus on speaking with native speakers and gain immediate feedback (instead of mobile apps)
If you want to get in shape, you should work with a personal fitness trainer (instead of watching Youtube workout videos)
If you want to learn a new instrument, hire a local music teacher in your city.
The ability to retain more knowledge in an age of infinite access to information and countless distractions is a powerful skill to achieve any goal we have faster.
By learning how to remember more information everyday, we can spend less time re-learning old knowledge, and focus on acquiring new ones.
These are just some of the information that I’ve gained while surfing through the web. Till then! Adios ;)