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summary infographic

“Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools
to help you master tough subjects
by University of California, San Diego on” Memory
Dr. Barbara Oakley & Dr. Terrence Sejnowski Mnemonics Procrastination Footnotes

Diffuse Mode [there are two modes of thinking] 1 Focused Mode
[zoom out] [zoom in]

we can use only one at the same time


it is happening whenever we don’t focus on anything it is happening whenever we deliberately put our
specific, whenever our thoughts are just floating attention onto something. This type of thinking helps
aroud. This type of thinking helps forming new understanding and connects the thoughts with the
neuronal patterns and discover new ideas or bring knowledge we have already stored in our long term
new solutions. memory.

[ex. running, swiming, meditation, showering, sleeping] [sequential, step by step aproach]

while learning something try to switch between focus and diffuse mode for a few times, you will discover the amazing things it can bring

when feeling stuck in solving problems or can’t find new approaches [Einstellung] 2 take a break, go for a walk or go talk with somebody

remember when you take breaks diffuse mode is still working in the background and helps you be more creative

[there are two types of memory] 3

Long term Short term

[explicit memory] [working memory]

both are connected and working at the same time

you can think of it as a hard drive inside your brain, it you can think of it as a RAM memory on the nowadays
retains the information for long periods of time. It is computers, it keeps the information whenever you put
conected to the short term memory from where the some energy in it. Unless stored, it fades as soon as
information is taken and stored through the process you take the energy out. An average person have
called consolidation. around 4 short term memory slots

sleep 4 is critical for memory and learning: 1. cleans the brain from toxins ; 2. strengthen memories; 3. enhance the thinking process

to fill up the long term memory: recall new knowledge 5, use spaced repetition 6 , test yourself, teach others, use mnemonic techniques 7

remember that practice makes permanent. It is an essential part of keeping memories easy to access. Practice on regular basis!

[3 techniques that can improve your memory]

Memory Chunking 9
Keyword 10

Palace 8

is an imaginary location in your mind

technique used to memorize the
where you can store mnemonic images.
meaning behind vocabulary words. It is
It involves making a journey through a is a process by which individual pieces
when a person uses how a word
place you know well, like a building or of information are bound together into
sounds like, to visualize something
town. Along that journey there are a meaningful whole.
memorable that will help them later
specific locations that you always visit
recall the definition
in the same order.

Imagine Split the information Associate

a space in small chunks

“ex” + “orbit” + “ant”

recall the image of it [e.g. your room] e.g. the concept of habit consist of 3 parts e.g. exorbitant -exceeding the bounds of reason

Visualize Focus on Imagine

and place one chunk

e.g. put the image of an atom on your desk e.g. focus only on one part “reward” create an image of these words in mind

create a Understand it Visualize


when you hear the word "exorbitant" you'll

walk through the space and create a see how it works,
think of your image of the ant floating from
funny story with the placed concepts bring few examples in your mind
Earth orbit to excessively far

Recall it Context Recall it

few times and practice few times

strengthen the image through recalling connect it with the big picture and practice recall the image and the story

all memory techniques and tricks have this in common: the more effort you put into the groundwork, the more powerful the results will be

learning = linking information together to create and slowly add to conceptual chunks 11

problem solving = identifying what chunks to use when (and how) to tackle a specific problem

[the action of delaying or postponing something]

The Cue The Routine The Reward

procrastination is a habit trigered by In order to save energy our brain tries represents increases/decreases in
just a thought of doing something hard to switch onto something rewarding pleasant/unpleasant sensations,
or something unpleasant. Try to notice and easy. Such activities can be emotions or thoughts. The faster and
what is happening before you start spending time on social networks, easier you get it, more addictive it
procrastintation. playing games, watching movies etc. becomes. 12

Discover the cue Change the routine

find your trigger [e.g. boredom] avoid the cue or change the behaviour

How to change
your procrastination
habits 13
Believe in your system Premeditate the reward
make sure you gain trust in your strategy and truly enjoy it when the time has come

practice, see what works and what not, change the reward or your routine accordingly

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late

Focus on the process 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in
length, separated by short breaks.

not product 1. Decide on the task to be done.

14 2. Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes)
[Pomodoro technique] 3. Work on the task until the timer rings.
4. After the timer rings put a checkmark on a piece of paper
5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
6. After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark
count to zero, then go to step 1.

we procrastinate about things that make us feel uncofortable. But what makes us feel good temporarily isn’t necessarily good for us.

in order to avoid this feeling of discmfort when you start doing something, try to focus on the process instead of the product [final result]

keep a planner-journal so you can easily track when you reach your goas and observe what does and doesn’t work
eat your frogs first . Try to do the hard tasks first thing in the morning when you still have a lot of energy and willpower




Oakley, Barbara. “A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science”, TarcherPerigee, 2014 ed.
How We Make Memories - Crash Course Psychology #13 -
Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep, Jon Hamilton -
SQ3R method, Wikipedia -
Spaced repetition: a hack to make your brain store information. James Gupta -
Learning Mnemonics: Can You Really Hack Your Memory?, Youtube -
How to Build a Memory Palace, -
Keyword Method, -
Book Crunch: “A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science”, Barbara Oakley -
Book Crunch: “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change”, Charles Duhigg -
Pomodoro Technique, Wikipedia -