Learning fast has nothing to do with IQ how you learn is more important


Whether you're learning a new language or just like to know a lot of things, learning new things is incredibly valuable and do you've to be very smart for that? — no, specially curious. Good news, because let's be honest: " you can never be overdressed or overeducated. " (4 tips will help you with that.)

"You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

Well, we at Time Win don't agree with that. You are never too old (or too young) to learn new things. In fact, we believe that the time after school is much more important than the time in school. In our opinion, there is therefore no reason why you can't continue to develop yourself (and your knowledge).

For example, if we look at extremely successful people, we also see that they are 'learners' for life. They understand that their knowledge, education and skills determine the quality of their life and career.

Do this yourself. Open yourself up to gain as many new perspectives and insights as possible anytime and anywhere. Not only will it naturally make you smarter, you'll increase your creativity and develop a greater sense of accomplishment.

And that turns out to be important:


We live in a knowledge economy. So lifelong learning is more important than ever before — says Peter Diamandis, author of the book Abundance.

"In recent years collecting complex data and information has been difficult — it took your time if you did it yourself and hired people it was very expensive. Today, in the age of Google, we have free access to this information and the quality is 1000x better. We have access to every piece of information, data and research anytime, anywhere."

So we can actually say that nothing can stop you from gaining new insights — access to new information is incredibly accessible. In addition, this knowledge is also extremely valuable — specially when it comes to knowledge related to innovation and new technology.

So learning fast and gaining new insights is probably one of the best best things you can do today — whether it means learning a new language or brushing up on your programming skills.


..but how do you do that, that learning. Do you spend 10,000 hours on something before you master it or do you schedule study sessions of several hours?

Well, while the time you spend studying information certainly plays a role, the way you learn is also extremely important — how do you plan, how do you oversee information, and also reflect on what you've learned.

In fact, these metacognitive matters turn out to be so important that they surpass a smart head:

A head of Research & Training at the Institute for Research, found, for example, that when it comes to learning new information, people who pay attention to their own cognitive skills score better than those with a very high IQ.

In other words: if you're aware of how you learn, you understand and remember the material better than if you're only smart. So you don't have to be a genius to be a lifelong learner, just curious about the latest techniques.


And which techniques are useful? — well, these 4:

1. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Almost all of us have slept through the night to be able to learn the material from that exam at the last minute. However, this doesn't seem to really work.

If you want to learn information faster, a few learning sessions are more useful than one very long one. According to various scientists, this is the most powerful way to store information in our brains.

So suppose you've decided to develop your language skills. So you could plan one long learning session in which you stamp all the conjugations in your brain, or you could make better use of your brain and spread the sessions over one whole week. Every night before you go to sleep, spend a maximum of 30 minutes on your Programming course.

To support this process even more, you'll also need to find a way to record the information you learn. Do this by annotating ( by hand! ) and then processing them in a mind map or in another digital system, e.g. Evernote.

Read through these notes and the new information you need to learn over and over and you'll see that it sticks around much longer than if you had spent hours scribbling.

2. Do nothing.

Productivity expert Scott Barry Kaufman found that 72% of people get creative ideas when they're in the shower.

These "aha" moments, or "shower" ideas bubble to the surface when we are engaged in an activity where we give our brain a moment of rest. It gives the brain the opportunity to make new connections between information that we already know, but which aren't yet connected.

It's therefore not the case that you only develop new insights when you're actively engaged in learning. It's precisely when you take a moment of rest that your brain can develop new perspectives.

Take sleep, for example — a time when you take a cognitive rest and where experts say it's for cleaning up "all the mess." For example, a recent study of people learning a new language showed that a good night's sleep reduced study time by as much as 50%.

On the other hand, if you slept poorly or too few hours, this also had an effect on remembering new information — both information that you obtained before your bad night's sleep, and that afterward.

So if you want to learn quickly, give your brain some rest. On the one hand by taking moments in which you do nothing at all, on the other by getting enough sleep.

3. Explain to others.

As any teacher will attest, the best way to learn something yourself is to explain it to someone else. Something that is clearly visible in what we call the 'learning pyramid'.

According to this pyramid, 90% of the information one tries to convey to someone else is remembered. In contrast, only 10% remembers when the information comes in by reading.

Something that Nobel laureate Richard Feynman is fully behind.

"If you can't explain something very simply, you don't understand it."

So if you want to learn quickly, teaching someone else is the easiest way to remember things better. When you divide a difficult subject into understandable chunks, you not only make it easier for the other person to understand something, you also increase your own understanding. You will also find out where there are any 'knowledge gaps'.

4. Cross-pollinate.

Ever wondered how Elon Musk can be so innovative, and that also in multiple areas of expertise? Well, besides being a diligent and eager person of course, a certain way of learning has helped him immensely:

Musk works from a technique that we call 'knowledge transfer': you take something from what you learn now and you apply it in a different context.

An example could be that you know a special mindfulness technique and then apply it when preparing a difficult annual report. It may also involve studying different areas and applying the information gained from one area to another.

Cross-pollination, so

Extremely convenient. To be able to apply information in a different context, you'll have to think critically about what you already know. This not only stimulates your learning process, you develop simultaneously in several areas.


So it's clear that successful people continue to learn long after they've outgrown school and why not you! We live in a time where everything is evolving faster and faster and where access to knowledge has never been so close at hand.

Then keep doing this yourself. Learn!

  • Keep repeating information you want to remember. Rather spend 30 minutes a day on it than 3 hours a week. Be sure to use notes and other ways to record your knowledge.
  • Give yourself and your brain plenty of rest moments. Let your brain make new connections between information you already possess. Come to new insights and learn from what was already present beneath the surface.
  • Teach and educate others. When you've to explain something simply to someone else, you increase your own understanding.
  • Do cross-pollination. Apply knowledge and information from one area to another and develop these areas simultaneously.


Would you like to learn how to apply the above methods in a practical way so that you can actually get started with that complicated information? Follow our 1-day training Speed ​​Reading, Memory Techniques and Mind Mapping.

Here we teach you, among other things, a very handy technique: 'mind mapping' – something that fits very well with the above tips:

  • It helps you process new information faster.
  • It creates overview and structure, making it easier to repeat it daily.
  • It helps you to build up a didactic story, so that you can transfer the knowledge more easily.
  • It ensures that information remains better hang and you better dust understands.
  • Enough reasons to take a closer look – specially if you want to develop yourself even more.

Will we see you there?

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