April 1999 Web Brief
Learning to be Successful

Quote of the month: "The empires of the future are empires of the mind" Winston Churchill

Double Your Brain Power
Source: Communication Briefings ideas that work

You probably sometimes wish that you could think faster, grasp new information quickly and recall more of what you read and hear. If so, youíll find the help youíve yearned for in Double Your Brain Power, by Jean Marie Stine. Examples:

  • Tackle information you want to commit to your short-term memory in the morning. Reason: The brain section that stores short-term memory items performs about 15% better in the morning. But switch to the afternoon for items you want to keep in your long-term memory because that part of your memory bank hits its stride later in the day.
  • "Reverse and rephrase" to overcome negative thoughts about your ability to learn something new. Example: Instead of "I wonít remember what Iím learning," tell your brain "Iíve already learned to recall many things, names, dates, computer commands. So I can and will remember this."
  • Plan for an upcoming learning event by selecting a reward youíll give yourself afterward. Pick something you wouldnít usually buy or do. Picture yourself enjoying the reward just before the learning event starts. Repeat the process whenever you feel anxious about learning the information. Note: No matter how things turn out, give yourself the reward.
  • Answer these questions after you read something that you want to remember: What was it about? What parts of it were most important? What opinions, if any, did it contain? What element makes it unique? Note: Do this mentally or in writing, whichever works best for you.
  • Rely on graphic devices to increase your reading speed and to help you zero in on the main points in books and other publications. Examples: italics, boldface, underlining, bulleted lists, charts, graphs, etc. As you go through pages, ignore regular text and scan only for these devices. When you find one, slow down and read these sections more carefully.
  • Boost your thinking power by taking the time to really think about the answers to these questions about a situation, some information or a problem: What seems to be the key idea here? Does this resemble or parallel anything Iíve already learned or experienced? Do I still have a nagging question about any part of this? When I put everything together, what do I see as most important?

Source: Double Your Brain Power: Increase Your Memory by Using All of Your Brain All the Time, Jean Marie Stine, Prentice Hall, 240 Frisch Court, paramus, NY 07652