Sohail Virani • 2023-09-03
2 science-backed techniques designed to enhance memory retention and amplify your learning.
Hello readers, welcome back to Vitality Digest. With September kicking things off, we've got back-to-school vibes in the air. In this issue, we've covered your learning game with topics like Spaced Repetition, Active Recall, Batching for productivity, stress management, Luca Pacioli's wisdom, and a quick tip to keep your finances in check.
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In the pursuit of knowledge, formal education often equips us with the "what" – what to learn, what to memorize, and what to understand. Yet, it seldom delves into the "how" of learning, the art of grasping, retaining, and applying information effectively. This is where an essential piece of the puzzle lies.
Understanding how to learn can make the process of what to learn not only more manageable but also more enjoyable. It's like having the keys to a treasure chest – the treasures being the knowledge, skills, and insights you seek.
So we’d like to introduce you to two such keys. Spaced Repetition and Active Recall. These powerful, evidence-based learning techniques have personally transformed my learning journey and many others.
Spaced Repetition: This technique involves revisiting and reviewing information at increasing intervals over time. It's like taking a journey through your notes and books, but instead of retracing your steps in a linear fashion, you skip back and forth strategically. This approach strengthens your memory by leveraging the psychological spacing effect, ensuring that you remember more with less effort. We recommend making a revision schedule to beat the forgetting curve.
Active Recall: Unlike passive reading or highlighting, active recall requires you to actively retrieve information from memory. It's akin to a mental workout. Instead of simply reviewing your notes, try closing your book or notebook and challenging yourself to recall what you've learned. This technique enhances your ability to remember and understand complex topics. Tests and flashcards are a great way of implementing active recall in your learning. By actively engaging with the material, you reinforce your memory and reduce the rate of forgetting.
As someone who has personally reaped the benefits of Spaced Repetition and Active Recall, I can attest to their effectiveness in not only acing exams but also fostering a deeper and lasting understanding of subjects. Check out some evidence on these methods here.
Imagine batching as your time-management symphony, where you bring together tasks like instruments in an orchestra. It's similar to conducting a masterful performance, where all elements harmonize seamlessly, creating a symphony of productivity. Just like a chef preparing a gourmet feast, where each dish is carefully orchestrated and cooked to perfection, batching enhances efficiency and minimizes the mental toll of switching between tasks.
How is batching effective?
Each time you switch between tasks, there's a cognitive "cost" as your brain transitions from one activity to another. Batching eliminates these costs by allowing you to stay in a single mode, boosting efficiency.
Also, Batching creates routines, reducing the need to make constant decisions. You know that during your designated "batch" time, you'll focus on a specific type of work, making your day more predictable and less mentally taxing.
A simple way to start batching
Identify similar tasks in your daily routine. Whether it's handling administrative work, replying to messages, or working on creative projects, set aside specific time blocks for each batch of tasks. You'll be amazed at how this small change can have a profound impact on your productivity.
Stress is a persistent companion in the modern world, lurking in various forms like work deadlines, academic pressures, family responsibilities, and the constant ping of digital devices.
One way to deal with this stress is to channel it to an activity that will benefit your overall well-being. That is your stress outlet.
The stress outlet can be anything that speaks to your soul. Here are a few examples.
Nature's Embrace: A leisurely walk in the park, a hike through the woods, or simply sitting by the water's edge. Nature has a unique ability to soothe the mind and offer a respite from daily stressors.
Creative Expressions: Creative channels like painting, writing, and playing a musical instrument can be a way for emotions to find an outlet. Engaging in artistic pursuits can sometimes be profoundly therapeutic plus it doubles as learning a new skill for fun.
Physical Activity: My personal favourite. When you are physically active, your body releases powerful chemicals called endorphins, which are natural stress-busters. They help relieve pain, improve your well-being and put you in a happy state of mind. Time to put that gym membership to good use!
Born in 1447, Pacioli was not just a mathematician and Franciscan friar, but also a gifted educator and collaborator. He is best known for his seminal work "Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita" published in 1494. Within its pages lay the foundation of modern accounting.
Pacioli introduced a groundbreaking concept that revolutionized financial record-keeping – double-entry bookkeeping. This method transformed how businesses, large and small, recorded transactions, offering greater precision and transparency. It allowed for a systematic approach to tracking assets, liabilities, and equity, principles still integral to accounting today.
Intriguingly, Pacioli's impact extended beyond accounting. He collaborated closely with the genius Leonardo da Vinci, documenting Leonardo's work on proportion and geometry in his book, "De Divina Proportione." This collaboration showcased Pacioli's appreciation for the intersections between mathematics and art.
In the realm of creativity, Luca Pacioli's multifaceted journey inspires us to embrace interdisciplinary thinking, meticulous documentation, collaboration, and a profound appreciation for the inherent beauty of numbers and patterns.
A straightforward yet powerful financial practice, the Daily Money Minute can lead to significant improvements in your financial well-being.
Here's how it works: Set aside a single minute each day, preferably at the same time, to focus on your financial accounts. During this minute, you can perform many vital tasks
You can Quickly review your account balances. This gives you an up-to-date snapshot of your financial situation and helps you detect any unexpected changes or discrepancies.
Take a moment to scan your recent transactions. This rapid daily check can help you stay vigilant against any fraudulent or unauthorized activities on your accounts.
If you're an investor, use this minute to check your investment accounts. Monitor your portfolio's performance and stay informed about any significant market movements.
The "Daily Money Minute" technique is all about maintaining awareness and staying proactive when it comes to your finances. While it may not allow for in-depth financial planning, it empowers you to quickly react to any irregularities, unauthorized transactions, or fraudulent activities.
That's it for this week’s issue. If you liked what you read, it would mean the world to me if you shared it with your friends and family.
Stay vital and have a great week.