Six Steps to Excellent Memory by Dr. Piotr Wozniak

Six Steps to Excellent Memory by Dr. Piotr Wozniak

[Ed: I combined quotes along with my own words.]

1. Nurse your hunger for knowledge: if your motivation for getting knowledge is weak you can stop reading this text. The rest of my advice will not work. You have to find the clear-cut link between knowledge and the value it brings to your life…The more you learn, the more your hunger for knowledge grows. So to increase your motivation to learn, learn more things and see how it can help others. Being healthy also helps with motivation.

2. Determine what you really need to know: you must first clearly identify the areas of knowledge that are most likely to positively influence your future. There’s too much knowledge in the world for one person to even skim it. The quicker you realise this, the faster you will reach the point at which you will see that three well-selected pieces of knowledge may have the power to blast the entire shelf of ill-picked books.

3. Locate sources of information: study lots of sources in parallel and pick the most useful bits from them…TV, news magazines and the library are still irreplaceable in many areas.

4. Formulate knowledge for active recall: Effective learning is based on repetition and active recall. Your brain must generate the answer. Useless to have “George Washington was the first president of the United States.” Much better to ask a question: Who was the first US president?…Additionally, whatever is based on active recall may not meet your expectations. Do you like running through exercises at the end of a course book? Probably not. The painful truth is that you will certainly have to formulate most of the knowledge yourself. You’ll be using various sources, and most of them will be poor for learning and do not use active recall. The time you invest in formulating knowledge for active recall will be returned manifold as long as you stick with the remaining principles of the presented formula for success in learning!

5. Use spaced repetition: programmes like Supermemo and Anki help.

6. Do not neglect knowledge management: once you start using the above principles, your needs change over time like the world around you. This fact must be incorporated in your learning. Repetitions of the learned material must become a standard fixture in your daily schedule. This time will be spent well if you carefully make sure at each repetition that the material you learn is really worth the time you put in it. It must be up-to-date, useful, and properly formulated. You may be saving 70-90% of your time if you remove or reformulate the hardest 5% of your learning material!

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