Train Your Brain (and Avoid Brain Drain)!
As a learning practitioner, I often think about what I do in my life outside of work to learn new things and keep myself ready to apply what I have learned quickly and easily. A few techniques that really make a difference for me are recurrent, quick touchpoints and contextual reflection. I have a few great brain training tips that really make a difference for me and allow me to be in “everlearn” mode in a way that doesn’t fry my grey matter.
I enjoy getting regular reinforcement of things (that matter to me) through mobile messaging platforms. It’s content, that I don’t have to work for, saved to my mobile device in case I can’t get to it immediately. It’s content I want or need regular connection with. Currently, I am opted into Shine and receive thoughtful messages and inspiration every day. Find what you are interested in and check out what messaging platforms are out there to inspire or change your current way of thinking or doing. Don’t be afraid, opt in and see what happens. Never fear, you can always type STOP to end the experience if you need to.
Another great brain training tip is that I look for ways to quickly apply what I learn. Outright memorization will only get us so far when we’re learning. We need to be able to make connections to our own experience. My friends laugh at me – I refer to it very simply as “thinking about stuff,” to link what I have learned to what I already know and what it means to me going forward.
Here’s an example… When I prepare a new recipe, I think about how I might modify it based on my own preferences, experience and knowledge. I also think about what I might serve it with, which informs how I may modify the new recipe. I consider taste profiles like salt, fat, acid and sweet. This connects that recipe directly to my own experience. I also think about which wine would complement the full plate. Again, this connects what I am learning, a new recipe, to my broader knowledge and experience. As a direct result of “thinking about stuff,” I am far more likely to prepare a new recipe in a way that I will remember, enjoy and be able to reflect and share with others. If I simply followed the step-by-step instructions, I wouldn’t have made the meaningful connections along the way. This is what makes learning so powerful.
Are you ready to train your brain? Here are three simple ways to train your brain to keep learning simple and fresh:
- Simplicity matters. The more complex we make it, the less likely you will be to use it long-term.
- Easy touchpoints work. Check out how cool messaging apps can drive you to think differently about what matters, not just give you more information about it. For every interest, there’s a messaging app that can ride as a sidecar and keep meaningful things quite present and available for you.
- Reflection and application count. Think about how to add a reflection element to the things you are learning about, making those connections to you – in your role in your life, helps retention and organic application