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This is adaptive during stressful times, as it allows us to focus specifically on the task at hand, such as fighting or fleeing for our life. In times of rest, however, we can train the brain to deactivate the hypothalamus. By Stephanie Vozza 4 minute Read. Talk To A Neutral Party Sometimes being open to something new just requires talking through the situation with someone else.

Practice Mindful Meditation Finally, incorporate mindful meditation into your daily ritual, says Deborah Norris, neuroscientist and author of In the Flow: Passion, Purpose and the Power of Mindfulness. Design Co. Design Spend a day inside the design studios you wish you worked for Co.

Design Warby Parker is launching a new brand, Scout, to sell contact lenses Co. Mostly, I read books and academic papers. I use different methods for these different materials, because the density of information is so vastly different. Papers are usually around 20 pages and take me four hours.

The Complete Guide to Effective Reading

I read books for fun — out of curiosity and a desire to increase my understanding of a particular subject. The focus is on being present. I read papers, by contrast, because I plan to discuss them in my dissertation. That requires me to go into the nitty-gritty. The focus is on the hard note-taking.

So ask yourself: what am I reading this for, and how deep do I want to go? Still, you want to make sure the information you absorb ascends into your toolkit of mental models. Surprisingly, many people are good at this. Remember: the jump to long-term memory requires a processing and b repetition. Mind mapping is a visual technique for summarizing the material that is specifically designed for the purpose of building a mental picture and seeing new connections. The reason they work so well is that they get both parts of your brain involved.

By using colors, images, symbols and arrows, in mindmapping, you also use your right hemisphere. By using both halves of the brain together, you can process and understand information faster and remember it better.

Open Your Mind

In addition, the spatial planning in the mind map makes it easier to distinguish between the main and side issues of the material, it saves you time because you only write down keywords and it is especially nice to work with the material in this way. Start with the subject of your mind map. The subject is the central idea and is similar to the title of a book or chapter. Place it in the middle of an empty sheet of paper.

Then add the following things:. A mindmap can only be one page, so it forces you to structure the information.


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To be able to impose structure on the material, you need to again be clear on why you are reading this book. For entertainment? To get better at your job? To improve your health? To learn a skill? To help build a business? That will never stick. But sometimes, you want a bit more depth. Something we jotted down and can refer to, perhaps akin to a summary.

For this, Shane Parrish from Farnam Street came up with a trick:. Then look back through the chapter and write down anything you missed. So, what does the overall, diachronic process look like? To repeat: the process of learning comprises reflection and feedback, or engagement and repetition. Yes, this takes more mental effort — remember: no more passive reading — and more time.

So a small aside on why you were doing all this in the first place. This is crucial because if come to detest this process it will kill your reading appetite. If it does, reconsider your motivation or choice of topic. Also: put the book down if you lose interest. Stop when bored. In Antifragile , Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why this not lazy idleness, but smart effectiveness:.


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  6. The trick is to be bored with a specific book, rather than with the act of reading. So the number of the pages absorbed could grow faster than otherwise. And you find gold, so to speak, effortlessly , just as in rational but undirected trial-and-error-based research. From now on, things are getting serious. So if active reading already was a bit much for you, feel free to skip this section.

    To ignite the twin-engines of learning — engagement and repetition — for studying, I use a three-layered process. I take notes following the QEC method, upgrade my marginalia and put my unconscious to work. Studying requires notetaking. Remember, the point of active reading is that you — actively — engage with and process the information. Transcription is too passive. The method is simple: Reduce the information presented to you into questions paired with conclusions.

    Between the two, list the evidence that justifies the connection. In other words, the questions and the conclusions become a wrapper around the raw facts — transforming them into self-contained ideas.

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    Question: Why is there no good reason to think people would stop working when they would have a guaranteed basic income? As the section continues, record the relevant facts below the question — these will form the Evidence. As you record this evidence, begin thinking about what conclusion the data is pointing you toward. Review your evidence as it grows and make up your mind when the time is right.

    Why do we have great ideas in the shower then?

    In our example, it might read something like:. Remember, we are studying, and devising ways to maximize how actively we engage with the information presented to us. Because they increase your engagement with the material, they rock.