If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose It
Now that you’ve gotten started with your learning process, you need to start thinking about how you’re going to keep your newfound knowledge fresh! While you may still remember everything that you’ve learned a week or even a month out, how will you remember it a year from now or even more? If you set up processes to keep that knowledge at the forefront of your mind while you’re still learning it, it will be second nature to study it later, and it won’t be a chore or a giant undertaking later.
No matter what you’re learning, chances are that you are coming across new terms and concepts on a daily basis. Make a habit that every time you come across something you don’t know, create a flashcard for it. Then spend as little as five minutes a day going over your flashcards, and that knowledge will never get stagnant!
Not a fan of physical flashcards? There are a ton of electronic options out there, but I personally recommend Quizlet. You can make your own deck of flashcards or multiple decks as needed, and you can take it with you on your phone, tablet, laptop, or whatever. I’ve been using Quizlet for years and I love it, but like I said, there are many other options out there if you prefer those.
You probably took notes for your classes and textbooks in high school and college, so why would you even consider not taking them now? Just like with flashcards, you can type them or hand write them, whatever you’re most comfortable with. Keep them in a designated place, and when you feel fuzzy on a certain topic, you can go over them again. Think about it: You can spend an hour re-reading the chapter or re-watching the pertinent lesson, or you can spend ten minutes going over your notes for the same effect.
Some of the courses you’re taking probably have built-in quizzes (and Quizlet also offers quizzes for your flashcard decks), but you may not have considered the value of writing quizzes yourself to help you study later. Set a habit to go over a quiz or two once a week, and it will refresh your knowledge on the things that just don’t fit on flashcards.
Before I go, I want to reiterate the title of this lesson: If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. If you spend all this time learning your subject now and then never touch the material again, I guarantee you’re going to forget it. Don’t make your work in vain! Make the habit now, so you’ll keep it when you’re finished learning. In tomorrow’s lesson, we’ll talk about what steps to take when you finish your plan. You’re almost there!
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