Fail like a scientist

Working on a new project, learning a new skill, trying a new experience—getting out of your comfort zone can be both exciting and frightening. Our fear of failure can be driven by many factors, including a fixed mindset or a fear of being judged. How can you overcome this fear? By learning to fail like …

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Productive cognitive load: make the most of your working memory

There’s only so much we can hold into our working memory—the system our brain uses to temporarily hold information while we manipulate it. The amount of working memory we use at any given moment is called the cognitive load. While both are theoretical concepts used in psychology and neuroscience, they have profound implications when it …

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The power of spaced repetition

Many startups are offering learning products based on dubious claims. While the neuroscience of learning is pretty well understood in terms of underlying biological mechanisms, very few interventions have been proven to have a positive impact on these processes. In a sea of unproven strategies, spaced repetition is the strongest evidence-based learning technique. The concept …

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Self-education: how to leverage the end of credentialism

The average lifespan of a technical skill is roughly 18 months. The world is moving fast. Anything you learn today may become obsolete tomorrow. It may feel discouraging—why bother acquiring a new skill if it will soon be useless?—but it shouldn’t be. The fact is it has never been easier to teach yourself anything. In …

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Brain-training games are BS

“Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!” claims the fifteen-year old Nintendo brain-training app, also known as Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training. The app consists of mini-games supposedly designed to stimulate various parts of the brain and help combat normal aging effects on the brain. The latest version was released early 2020 in Europe …

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How to go on an information diet

While it’s important to stay informed, too much information can become confusing, anxiety-inducing, and plain counter-productive. The same way you try to eat healthy to improve your physical health, going on an information diet is a way to control what you consume to take care of your mental health. It’s not the same as a …

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Neuroeducation: exploring the potential of brain-based education

Most people are aware that learning and mental performance are a function of the brain. As such, neuroscientists spend a lot of time exploring the biology behind processes such as the formation of memories, creative processes, social and emotional cognition, and more. But how can these scientific findings be translated into the real world? That’s …

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A beginner’s guide to Roam Research: getting started in 5 easy steps

By this point, most of my readers know how much I enjoy using Roam for research. But many messages I get are about how to get started. People are convinced this is an amazing tool for note-taking, thinking, and metacognition, but the interface can be a bit confusing at first. So here is my super-simple …

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From fixed mindset to growth mindset: the complete guide

If you ask someone “Do you have a growth mindset?”, most people will say yes. In fact, when I ran a poll asking my followers if they had a growth mindset, only 10% said they didn’t. This is called the “false growth mindset” and it’s a natural consequence of being human. You probably heard somewhere …

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How to use Roam Research: a tool for metacognition

I’ve never been a huge fan of knowledge management tools. Too rigid, too complex, not adapted to the intricacies of the human mind. I never managed to get on the Evernote or Notion bandwagon. It always felt like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Instead, I have been using a combination …

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