I recently watched an awesome TED Talk on working memory, and how it helps us make sense of the world.
Peter Doolittle talks for 10 minutes about his experience with working memory in this talk below. Here are the coles notes:
1. Process your life immediately and in the moment – do you agree with what’s happening, how can you use it later?
I think this means we need to pay attention and live in the present moment. Meditation helps me do this. When you’re in a conversation, be all there – don’t be texting or listening in on the conversation next to you.
2. We need to repeat stuff – you need to practice, pull out notes, and think about what you’ve learned.
I use Evernote to take notes when I’m reading, watching, or learning about anything. I love going back into my notes and reading the most important parts. Repetition is key to learning for me.
3. Think elaborative and illustriously – wrap your existence around your new knowledge so it becomes meaningful.
How does what you’re learning about relate to your own life? Ask yourself these questions as you learn and fit your new knowledge into your own story. This is something I need to work on, as it’s the first I’ve heard of this strategy.
4. Use imagery – pull images out of things you learn – if you read about a character, picture him.
I’m taking a “Super Learners” course on Udemy that really stresses this point. If you want to remember something, you need to attach detailed imagery to it. I was shocked at how well this strategy worked when I first started implementing it.
5. We need meaningful support – ask questions, support what you learn.
I think this speaks to diving into your subject matter. If you want to learn about anything, you need to immerse yourself in the subject. Reading one article isn’t enough, keep asking questions.
Take home message:
What we process we learn. if we’re not processing life, we’re not living it.
Here’s the TED Talk: