When you’ve enrolled on a course, it doesn’t matter how long you spend reading through your materials if you can’t remember what you read. So, here are some of the things you can do to improve your memory and make your study time more effective.
First,always make notes. Don’t write out in full long passages from your course. Instead, learn to pick out the important points that you want to remember and then jot them down in note form. Not only will this help to fix them in your memory, but it will make your revision quicker and easier because you can glance through them rather than having to re-read everything.
And there’s nothing to be ashamed about if you have to write down your shopping list or the jobs you’ve planned to do over the weekend. If it makes life easier than it’s a sensible thing to do.
Also, organise yourself. It’s much easier to keep track of everything if you are organised. Plan properly so that you do what is important and don’t waste time and brain power on trivialities. Feeling overwhelmed by what you think you need to do can lead to stress. Stress, in turn, can affect how clearly you think. So, organise and then relax for the best results. If you have problems organising yourself, then you might want to consider our Effective Time Management Course (I’ve studied it and I found it really helpful).
The next thing is exercise. There are two aspects to this: exercise your body so that you are fit and healthy; exercise your brain cells by reading, doing puzzles, taking courses and generally challenging yourself.
What you eat also has an effect on how well your memory works. If you eat a healthy diet and get appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals you should be able to think more clearly. People who eat too much sugar and ‘junk’ food often find that they can’t sit down and concentrate, and they lose interest in what they are doing more quickly – not the best state of mind if you want to study. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water as your brain cells work better when they are hydrated.
Finally, let’s look at the myth about not being able to learn new things as easily when you get older. This is simply not true. If you keep both your mind and your body in good working order and are eager and enthusiastic about learning a new subject, then I can promise you that it will be no harder than when you were a teenager!
But we all learn and remember things that we are interested in better than subjects that we find boring. So, when choosing a course, make sure the subject matter is something you’ll enjoy if you hope to get the best results.