Today, it has become necessary to learn how to learn quickly, otherwise, you would feel lost in this world of infinite information. Jim Kwik has introduced a simple method he calls, the FASTER Method, to learn anything quickly. The acronym FASTER stands for: Forget, Act, State, Teach, Enter, and Review. Here’s the breakdown:
F is for Forget
The key to focus is to remove or forget that which distracts you. There are three things you want to forget. The first is what you already know. When learning something new, we tend to assume that we understand more than we do about that subject. What we think we know about the topic can stand in the way of our ability to absorb new information. I know you can’t forget what you already know about a subject. Still, anytime you are learning something new, develop the mindset that despite what you previously know about the subject, you want to learn new things.
The second thing to forget is what is not urgent or important. Contrary to popular belief, your brain doesn’t multitask. If you are not fully present, it will be difficult for you to learn when your focus is divided.
And finally, forget about your limitations. These are the preconceived notions you have about yourself, such as that your memory is not good or that you’re a slow learner. If you are going to learn anything quickly, you must be ready to forget about your limitations and launch out for great things because truly, you are limitless.
A is for Act
Traditional education has trained many people that learning is a passive experience. You sit quietly in class, you don’t talk to your neighbour, and you consume the information, but this is quite far from the truth. Learning is not a spectator sport; it is active. The human brain does not learn as much from consumption as it does from creation. Knowing that, whenever you are learning something, make the decision to be more active by taking notes, asking questions, etc. If you make everything important, then nothing becomes important. To learn anything quickly, cultivate the habit of being active. The more active you are, the better, faster, and more you will learn.
S is for State
All learning is state-dependent. Your state is a current snapshot of your emotions. It is highly influenced by your thoughts (psychology) and the physical condition of your body (physiology). Your feelings or lack thereof about a subject in a specific situation affect your learning process and ultimately the results. As a matter of fact, when you tie a feeling to information, the information becomes more memorable. As an example, you most likely do not remember what a teacher taught in class because you were feeling bored at the time the teacher was teaching.
What happens here is that your emotional energy is low, which in turn affects your learning. Just as Jim Kwik’s formula states, Information × Emotion = Long-term Memory. This implies that if your emotion is zero, there would be no long-term memory, hence you forget. However, when you take control of your state of mind and body, you can shift your experience of learning from boredom to excitement, curiosity, and even fun. To achieve this, you might try shifting the way your body moves in a learning environment or piquing different moods before you sit down to learn. Change your posture or the depth of your breathing. Sit or stand the way you would if you were totally energized and excited for what was coming. Get excited about how you will benefit from what you are about to learn and what you will do with your new knowledge.
Remember, all learning is state-dependent. Consciously choose states of joy, fascination, and curiosity. You are in control of your state, your mood and how you feel.
T is for Teach
It is a popular saying that when you teach something, you get to learn it twice. If you want to learn something new, you should learn with the intention of teaching the information to someone else. Think about it: If you know you have to give a presentation on what you learn, you will approach how you learn the topic with the intention of mastering it well enough to explain it to someone else. You will pay closer attention. Your notes might be more detailed. And you might even ask better questions.
Learning on your own is the first time you get to learn something, teaching it to someone gives you the opportunity to learn it twice. Therefore, to learn anything quickly, always learn with the intention of teaching it to someone else whether or not you actually get to teach it to someone else.
E is for Enter
The simplest and most powerful personal performance tool is your calendar. We enter important things on our schedule: work meetings, parent-teacher gatherings, dentist appointments, class, and so on. But a lot of people do not schedule their personal growth and development. If it’s not on your calendar, there’s a good chance it’s not getting done. It’s too easy for the day to slip by with you “forgetting” to work out your body and brain.
Remember, if you don’t schedule it, it is not going to be done. Schedule it! Schedule even if it is 10 min a day to learn how to learn. It is very important! Remember, the faster you can learn, the faster you earn, so scheduling time to learn how to learn is not a waste of time; it will affect your productivity in the long run.
R is for Review
One of the best ways to reduce the effects of the forgetting curve is to actively recall what you learned with spaced repetition. You are better able to retain information by reviewing it in multiple spread-out sessions. Going over the material at intervals increases our brain’s ability to remember it.
To leverage this principle, before you begin your next reading session take a moment, it can be a few minutes, to actively retrieve what you learned the session before. Your brain will give greater value to the reviewed material and prepare your mind for what is to come.
You have it guys! Jim Kwik’s FASTER Method. What are your thoughts? Share them in the comment section.