What is the best way to absorb new material?

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

In my teen years I would go down to Wooley’s Pool, a tidal pool which was a short distance from where my parents had our home against Kalk Bay mountain, to study for tests and exams. One of the teenagers always seemed to need as much tutoring as he could get. Other teenagers would come sit with us but I can’t remember them ever studying on the big brown rocks next to the coastline where the waves crashed against the shore. I’m not sure how much this extra studying outdoors helped us although the fresh summer’s South Easter kept us awake which wouldn’t have happened if we had been studying in some stuffy spare room.

Little did we know then as youngsters studying for school exams that school would never be out. The pace and intensity of modern living and the ever-changing economy would mean lifelong learning. Even after finishing university degrees, you would need to study various other subjects just to keep up with changes in approaches and technology.

Does anyone remember how many books they read on personal computers before they became prevalent? What about the books and magazines on the new phenomenon of the worldwide web? How often have you in your career had to read new material and attend courses to advance?

When you read or study new material, you think you are going to remember it all. But educational psychologists estimate that people tend to remember only about 10% of what they read. It’s much more difficult to absorb and remember material when you are studying on your own even if it is fascinating.

To really absorb material and make it your own you’ve got to go further. But you don’t have an opportunity to check back and test your understanding and memory of concepts and facts. Yet as someone who wants to create an income-producing asset such as property or small business, you will be challenged at times to learn new material to get up to speed. There’s only so much that you can pull from others to close your gaps. Sometimes you have to do your own self-study.

How do you remember new material?

The simple answer might be to “engage” with the material that you are reading or studying. But what is that really mean? You need to assimilate and check your understanding regularly. In my book “Breakthrough Ideas” I’ve taken more than 10 years of distance learning and lecturering as well as running workshops to make my book as easy to follow and absorb as possible.

Have I done this? I’ve incHave I done this? I’ve included brief exercises and tasks and information. If you use the tools regularly they can become second nature and will prove valuable to you for dealing with difficult decision-making, generating new approaches for your business that will mean increased revenues and give you the edge in your markets where you don’t have to get up and have a cup of tea at 3 AM in the morning because you are so worried about cash flow.

Educational psychologists found that the highest level of retention – up to 90% — occurs when the learner explains what they are doing while they are doing it. This is why it is important to explain and demonstrate back to the coach or instructor. Such learning becomes highly critical when you deal with learning safety rules procedures and principles.

If you want to get up to speed with the latest thinking in creativity for business that will help you come up with new ideas for income-generating assets in this hard economic climate, then all you need to do is to type in your name and email address.

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