Árni Karlsson

jazz from the cold north

How to learn anything 4x faster

Whatever you choose to do and be in life there comes a time when you need to learn something by heart. It might be a poem for your wedding wows, a sales pitch, a piece of music on your instrument, a monologue in your local theatre, or just a simple verse and chorus in a pop song you like. Whatever the content, there is a one trick that will get you to learn it at least 4x faster by using this simple method. The problem with learning by heart is that it can feel really tedious at times. You start at the beginning and learn the first phrase and then you get to the second and it is OK, but then at some point in becomes psychologically draining. One of the reasons for that drain is that you start upbeat at the beginning because you know it really well and then when you end you always feel discouraged because you stumble on the things you do not know. When you have had a certain amount of those bum outs and pulled yourself together and started from the beginning again you become discouraged and quit. The reason we quit so soon is because we only have a certain amount of will power per day.

The solution to getting us to learn things 4x faster is ridiculously simple, and surprisingly effective when you try it out. The trick is to start at the end and learn the very last sentence or phrase first. Learn it really well with feeling so it is just as easy to remember as using a fork to eat. Then simply move to the next bit that is nearest to the thing you just learned and link it to the end. You will find that you are drawn to remember the end also because it is fun since you know it so well. This way you always leave the learning on an emotionally upbeat note, encouraged to keep on learning, sparing your limited resource of daily willpower.