How to Hack Your Brain

Want to learn faster? First, forget about it.

Challenging circumstances present some of our very best learning opportunities. As companies continue to adjust to changes in processes and policies in the face of COVID-19, many of us have been asked to hone new skills. On and off the job, people are taking on new roles: parents have become teachers, friends have become counselors, and partners have become one another’s hair stylists.

Whether you’re learning a language or trying to teach your child algebra, there are shortcuts you can use to facilitate the learning process. Your brain learns best when the learning process is nonlinear—messy, interrupted, and mixed up. Techniques that force the brain to work hard to retrieve information are effective because they reinforce your memories.

What does this mean in practice? Most importantly, it’s important to space out your learning sessions so the brain can partially forget, and recover, key information. Breaks help the brain leverage its incredible subconscious processing power, which builds new connections and makes creative associations. Your goal is to build a strong neural network around new memories so that the information becomes easier to recall.

Ready to give your brain a boost? Look for more advice in our Instaread on How We Learn.

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