How to take notes while reading a book

It’s easier to take notes when we’re listening to content. That’s because our hands are free and we can focus on writing down whatever seems important to remember. However, when reading a book, taking notes interrupts our reading flow. It means there is a fine balance between taking too many notes—and reading extremely slowly—and taking …

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Interview: Using books to navigate life with Juvoni Beckford

A few months ago, a tweet popped up on my timeline, where Juvoni Beckford shared an incredible achievement: reading 450 books over the course of a decade. As someone who loves reading and thinks that everyone would benefit from reading more books—whether fiction or nonfiction—I was understandably impressed by Juvoni’s consistency. Juvoni Beckford is a …

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Adjacent skills: how to widen your career perspective

Gone are the days of linear career trajectories. Most people will live several work lives, and careers have become increasingly mobile. While deep expertise in a given domain can lead to a successful career, it is also a more rigid approach which may limit the number of lateral opportunities. In contrast, adjacent skills can open …

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The science of deliberate practice

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “practice makes perfect” is “said to encourage someone to continue to do something many times, so that they will learn to do it very well.” But does practice really make perfect? We tend to see practice as tireless repetition of the same task, where the goal is to progressively become …

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Constructive criticism: how to give and receive feedback

Whether in our personal or professional lives, we are constantly giving and receiving feedback. Some of the feedback is subtle, often unconscious, and some of it is proactive. Being able to receive and to offer constructive feedback is an essential skill in building meaningful social relationships.  In addition, research suggests that meaningful feedback is crucial …

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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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How to read a book

When I was a kid, my parents struggled to understand why I always looked so tired. We had a curfew and were usually pretty quiet after bedtime. What was happening? Well, I was reading. Sometimes until dawn. Treasure Island, The Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Count …

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