How to better remember what you read

While most people—including scientists—agree on the benefits of reading books, not everyone seems to have been made equal when it comes to remembering their content. Some people are an endless source of insights, recalling every single detail long after they’re finished reading. Others, not so much. What’s going on here? And how can you better …

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The art of memory: mnemonic techniques

Nowadays, when we want to remember something, we mostly use our phone to take a quick note, create a reminder, message ourselves on Slack, or just add it to our calendar. Granted, having a good memory may not be as useful as it used to be, but there’s lots of research showing that training your …

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The science-based benefits of reading

I absolutely love reading. Fiction, non-fiction, poems, blogs, newspapers, magazines. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we spend less time reading and more time browsing—scrolling through Tweets, liking Instagram posts. It’s a shame, because reading offers many benefits that are backed by science. If you’re not convinced you should make it a habit, see below for some …

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The science of note-taking

While note-taking feels natural to students, this is something many people stop doing once they start working, either as an employee or for themselves. We may bookmark something to read it later, but the active process of taking notes when consuming content is not a common habit. “It doesn’t matter how you record your notes, …

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Input / Output

Have you ever had a great idea while engaged in a totally unrelated activity? That’s actually a fairly common phenomenon. Our brain tends to make interesting connections when not focused on performing a specific task. This is why we have shower thoughts. But to get quality creative output, we need quality creative input. How do …

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The generation effect

Do you feel like you can remember things better when you actively engage with the information and create your own version of it? That’s called the Generation Effect. In a research paper published in 1978 in the Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, scientists described it as the phenomenon where information is better remembered …

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Some hard truths about soft skills

The definition of “soft skills” on Wikipedia feels like it’s been written by a very confused person. According to the page, soft skills are a combination of things such as social intelligence and emotional intelligence, people skills, social skills and communication skills, personality traits, and even career attributes. The article goes onto listing courtesy, flexibility, …

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Circular growth vs linear growth

It’s common to see progress as linear. When thinking about success, many people imagine a ladder or stairs going up. To progress, you need to climb each step one by one and get closer to the top. Linear model: A then B then C then D. Circular model: A feeds B feeds C, which in …

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The science of curiosity: why we keep asking “why”

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. Albert Einstein. Children have an incredibly inquisitive mind. “Why?” they keep asking. They explore new things for no other reason except that they just want to know. Researchers tried to figure out how often kids ask questions. Turns out, a lot: on average, children ask 107 …

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The false promise of the 10,000 hour rule

Our culture loves experts. Whether athletes, chefs, or musicians, some of the biggest celebrities are considered masters of their craft, and we admire the long hours they put into practicing over and over again the same skills so they could become second nature. In 2008, Malcolm Gladwell published his popular book Outliers, exploring why some …

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