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Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus. Executive Summary Research has shed light on the power of focus and its role as a hidden driver of success.

Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus

Yet as helpful as focus can be, research also shows there’s a downside to it: excessive focus exhausts the focus circuits in your brain. It can drain your energy, make you lose self-control, impair your decision-making, and make you less collaborative. The brain operates optimally when it toggles between focus and unfocus. When you unfocus, you engage a brain circuit called the default mode network (DMN). The ability to focus is an important driver of excellence. The problem is that excessive focus exhausts the focus circuits in your brain. So what do we do then? In keeping with recent research, both focus and unfocus are vital. When you unfocus, you engage a brain circuit called the “default mode network.”

The DMN needs this energy because it is doing anything but resting. Talking to Yourself (Out Loud) Can Help You Learn. Executive Summary There are few skills more important than the ability to learn.

Talking to Yourself (Out Loud) Can Help You Learn

But the skill of learning skills is rarely taught. A Stanford researcher's 15-minute study hack improves test grades by a third of a grade — Quartz. Policy makers, tech executives, teachers, and parents are forever trying to find new ways to improve kids’ performance at school.

A Stanford researcher's 15-minute study hack improves test grades by a third of a grade — Quartz

Schools design and redesign curricula, teachers embrace and reject new learning technologies, and parents plot ways to get their kids to study more. One novel solution researchers find helps kids to perform better is to get them to think about how they think—metacognition—and have them strategize how they study. If this sounds easy, it is not. “All too often, students just jump mindlessly into studying before they have even strategized what to use, without understanding why they are using each resource, and without planning out how they would use the resource to learn effectively,” says Patricia Chen, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford with a PhD.

A brief summary of effective study methods. EDIT: Reworked and moved to Main following Gunnar_Zarncke's advice.

A brief summary of effective study methods

Related to: Book Review: How Learning Works, Build Small Skills in the Right Order, What are useful skills to learn at university? This article is organized into three sections focusing on attention, processing and recall respectively. The advice in each section is roughly organised in order of usefulness, although your mileage may vary. Can You Make Yourself Smarter? Science: This Super-Simple Learning Hack Can Help You Master Any Subject. Introduction to the Improvement Kata. Popsci. In music, you have scales.

popsci

In Jiu Jitsu, it’s drilling. Most of us just call it practice. Whatever you label it, many believe that greatness, heck even mere competency, requires training a skill well past proficiency. The Secret To Learning New Skills Twice As Fast. Whatever your ultimate reaction to the long, fractious, exhausting election campaign last year—whether you're still sorry for Hillary, optimistic about what Trump might do on infrastructure and jobs, or just disgusted by Trump—we can agree on certain things, perhaps.

The Secret To Learning New Skills Twice As Fast

Though power did pass efficiently and peacefully from Obama to Trump, it did so under a cloud; or at least with question marks about the functioning parts of our democracy itself. The growing gap between elites and the general electorate, the rise of populist parties, increasing partisanship, a lack of trust in institutions (like the media, or election officials), a sense that mainstream parties, or Congress, don't respond well to people—these are all manifestations of a democracy that isn't working well.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently downgraded the United States's democratic process as part of its "Democracy Index" analysis. Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills. Specialised skills; air traffic control.

Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills

Photo courtesy US Navy/Flickr Being an air-traffic controller is not easy. At the heart of the job is a cognitive ability called ‘situational awareness’ that involves ‘the continuous extraction of environmental information [and the] integration of this information with prior knowledge to form a coherent mental picture’. Vast amounts of fluid information must be held in the mind and, under extreme pressure, life-or-death decisions are made across rotating 24-hour work schedules. So stressful and mentally demanding is the job that, in most countries, air-traffic controllers are eligible for early retirement. In the 1960s, an interesting series of experiments was done on air-traffic controllers’ mental capacities. Since the early 1980s, however, schools have become ever more captivated by the idea that students must learn a set of generalised thinking skills to flourish in the contemporary world – and especially in the contemporary job market.

How to cram for a test: A step-by-step guide to hack your brain so it can study better and memorize facts — Quartz. Anders Ericsson: How to become an expert at anything. Anders Ericsson.

Anders Ericsson: How to become an expert at anything

Anders Ericsson As a teenager in Sweden, Anders Ericsson used to play chess against one of his classmates, a boy considerably worse at the game than Ericsson. Every time they'd play, Ericsson would trounce him. Then one day, the classmate beat him. Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect. Zach Hambrick has always been fascinated by exceptional performance, or what he calls “the extremes of human capabilities.”

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

Growing up, he’d devour Guinness World Records, noting the feats it described and picturing himself proudly posing in its pages. By the time he reached college, though, he’d moved on to a new obsession: becoming a golf pro. “I was very serious about it,” he told me. “I practiced religiously. How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math - Issue 40: Learning.

I was a wayward kid who grew up on the literary side of life, treating math and science as if they were pustules from the plague.

How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math - Issue 40: Learning

So it’s a little strange how I’ve ended up now—someone who dances daily with triple integrals, Fourier transforms, and that crown jewel of mathematics, Euler’s equation. It’s hard to believe I’ve flipped from a virtually congenital math-phobe to a professor of engineering. How To Be An Expert: 8 Proven Secrets To Superior Skill. Being an expert at something really pays off. Just how good are top performers compared to everybody else? Research shows in high complexity jobs like professional and sales roles, the top 10% produce 80% more than average and 700% more than the bottom 10%. But as I’m sure you’re aware, becoming the best ain’t easy. As Bobby Knight once said, “Everybody has the will to win; few people have the will to prepare to win.” And one of the reasons why it’s hard to become great is because a lot of what you’ve been told about how to learn, study or train is wrong, wrong, and dead wrong.

Second-Level Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform. “Experience is what you got when you didn’t get what you wanted.” Howard Marks Successful decision making requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects. Decision making is as much art as science. The goal, if we have one, is not to make perfect decisions but rather to make better decisions than average.

There’s a better way to get smarter than brain-training games. Is it just me, or is everybody out there looking for a quick fix? There is something highly compelling about the idea that there is a secret switch we can flip to become suddenly smarter, to reveal cognitive abilities hidden inside each of us. It is a notion that certainly has commercial appeal. Over just seven years, the games-maker Lumosity rocketed from zero to 50 million users, promising rapid improvements in general intelligence by playing brain-training video games for just a few weeks. (Lumosity recently settled with the United States Federal Trade Commission for making unsupported claims that its product was scientifically validated.) ‘Memory health’ nutritional supplements have sales of more than $1.5 billion, and ‘smart drugs’ – pills to enhance cognitive performance – have become prevalent on college campuses.

These are global trends but, living in the US, it seems to me that there is something particularly American to them. Henry Ford and the Actual Value of Education. “The object of education is not to fill a man’s mind with facts; it is to teach him how to use his mind in thinking.”— Henry Ford In his memoir My Life and Work, written in 1934, the brilliant (but flawed) Henry Ford offers perhaps the best definition you’ll find of the value of an education, and a useful warning against the mere accumulation of information for the sake of its accumulation. A devotee of lifelong learning need not be a Jeopardy contestant, accumulating trivia to spit back as needed. In the Age of Google, that sort of knowledge is increasingly irrelevant. The Power of Chunking: How To Increase Learner Retention. In 1980, K. Anders Ericsson and his colleagues published a fascinating experiment.

They took a student of average intelligence, memory capacity, and IQ and had an experimenter test the limits of his memory. The experimenter read a series of random numbers and then had the student recite them back in the exact order. If he was able to recite the numbers in the correct order, the experimenter would add another digit to the next random set. If he made a mistake, the next set of random numbers would be one digit shorter. At the beginning of the experiment, the student proved his average intelligence and memory by only being able to memorize a sequence of about 7 numbers.

The experiment was repeated, 4 days a week, for almost two years. Improving Long-term Learning Through Spacing Of Lessons. Combine the aphorisms that "practice makes perfect" and "timing is everything" into one and you might get something resembling findings published in this month's issue of Psychological Science. Proper spacing of lessons, the researchers report, can dramatically enhance learning. And larger gaps between study sessions result in better recall of facts. Three Steps To Get Up To Speed On Any Subject Really, Really Fast.

"Don’t boil the ocean," Terry said as he slapped a tall stack of papers on my desk. Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule. Robert bjork - the future of learning. Surprisingly Simple Ways You Can Trick Your Brain Into Focusing. The Science of Success » Blog Archive » How To Stop Living Your Life On Autopilot, Take Control, and Build a Toolbox of Mental Models to Understand Reality with Farnam Street’s Shane Parrish.

June 7, 2016. Stop Crashing Planes: Charlie Munger’s Six-Element System. Read Less. Learn More. - Todoist Blog. Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think. The 4 Rituals That Will Make You An Expert At Anything. The Anti-Reading List. All successful investors read a lot. Robots and Babies Both Use Curiosity to Learn. The Secret To Learning New Skills Twice As Fast. Relearning the Lost Skill of Patience. Anyone can learn to be a polymath – Robert Twigger. This is the kind of music you should listen to at work. Time Management and Productivity. Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better.

"Study Less, Study Smart": The Best Ways to Retain More in Less Time. How To Learn New Skills Without Hurting Your Bank Account. Better Ways to Learn. The ultimate guide to learning anything faster. The Neuroscience Behind Stress and Learning. The Growth Mindset.

Education Week. The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart. Cognitive Exhaustion: Resting Your Mental Muscle. Threshold Theory: How Smart Do You Have to Be to Succeed? To Make Big Gains, Avoid Tiny Losses. Checklist: Are you doing these five things to be the best? Avoiding The Overconfidence Trap. Rubber Duck Problem Solving. Memory Tricks to Help You Learn by Real Business. Study Skills and Tutoring. Thinking and memorizing; test preparation and taking menus. How to never forget the name of someone you just met: The science of memory. Learn Memory Techniques - Memorise.org. Learning Hacks That Will Maximize Your Memory.

Psychology: A simple trick to improve your memory. How to Tighten Your Grip on Your Memory. The Learning Toolbox - Cornell Notes. Uk.businessinsider. Back to Basics: Perfect Your Note-Taking Techniques. Smart Wisdom: Note taking made easy. Here's Why, How, And What You Should Doodle To Boost Your Memory And Creativity. Visual thinking. Sketchnotes 101: The Basics of Visual Note-taking. How To Get Started With Sketchnotes. Download Mendeley Desktop - Manage and Share Research Papers. VideoNot.es. How to become smarter by doing less in the information age. The Buffett Formula — How To Get Smarter. How to Understand Everything (and why) — Metamodern.

How To Teach All Students To Think Critically. The Impoverishment of Attention. Buzzword: Micro-learning. The Single Most Proven Way To Get Smarter And Happier. Learning to Learn: leveraging your circadian rhythm. How long does it take to learn a new skill? 20 hours. Learning To Learn Faster: The One Superpower Everyone Needs. Robert Greene Mastery. Interview with author of "The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast" (plus excerpt) Can You Really Learn a Skill in A Week? The Secrets Inside Tim Ferriss' Insanely Fast Learning Strategy. How To Get Smarter. Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence. 7 Secrets Top Athletes Can Teach You About Being The Best At Anything.

How Experts Practice Better Than the Rest. How to Calm Your Nerves with "Mental Rehearsal" and Get Through Anything. Stop Thinking and Start Doing: The Power of Practicing More. The One Learning Technique That Scared The S**t Out of Bruce Lee. How Constraints Make You Better: Why the Right Limitations Boost Performance. The Conscious Competence Ladder - Learning Skills from MindTools.com. New Study Destroys Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Rule. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule for deliberate practice is wrong: Genes for music, IQ, drawing ability, and other skills. How to Read A Book.

What Should I Read? People who skim online articles are just as cultured as book snobs. How to Better Retain Information from Books, Articles, and More. 7 Speed Reading Tricks by a Former Book-Hater. Speed Reading Techniques: How to Read 1000 Words per Minute. Free online speed reading software.