Thursday, August 31, 2017

Know an amazing Pizza technique, that will make you enjoy your studies!

How can you study without getting tired? Well, don’t study! That will be best way to stop getting tired! :)   

Okey, let’s be a little serious and hear some of the famous dialogs as we start studying:
  • I am bored!
  • I hate history and I have the exams tomorrow!
  • Been 2 hours I am studying but I don’t remember anything!
  • I have so much to complete. How will I ever be able to do it?
  • I never could stick to my study schedule! No point in making one.
All the above dialogs are common and believe me, it’s natural to feel or think so. Each one including your parents, grandparents, teachers have faced similar issues! They have gone through all this - happily or sadly. 


Yes, You know what? Your brain and mind is crazy! It requires a little discipline to be able to use them optimally. Just a little discipline and you probably can study more in less time and enjoy more playing. How? Follow the Pizza technique to study.

Study like eating a Pizza!

  1. Set aside a SET time every day for studies. Say 4 PM to 5 PM or whatever works with you. This time is for studies and at this time, it’s just studies and nothing else.
  2. Study in the blocks of 20 minutes each. 20 minutes is a good duration to study focused.
  3. Take short breaks (5 mins) after every 20 mins focused study time. 
  4. Rehearse and Revise – Repetition is a mother of learning.

Crap! What's the guarantee it works?
  • Setting aside a fixed time every day, ensures your brain gets into a habit of learning during that time. It's like we get up every day at the pre-decided time. 
  • Researchers have found out that 20 mins is the best time to keep brain focused. This duration can go up by practice but 20 mins is good to start with.
  • You can choose to do anything during break, just don’t engage into activities that don’t end in 5 mins. E.g. you start playing a game which you kept on “pause” as break ended. Now while you are on the next subject, half of your attention is on remaining game! Play games those end within 5 mins. Hear music, read story book, watch cartoon, eat or whatever that you enjoy and can end within 5 mins.
  • Have you seen rechargeable batteries? How do they work? You recharge them once they are exhausted, right? The 5 mins break does the same things to your brain. It recharges your brain cells for next 20 mins study time. It works wonders to remain focused!!! 
Isn't 20 mins an easy doable thing? :)

Interesting! Keep going!

Nothing more my buddy! Here are 3 basic rules to keep in mind:
1.   20 mins study is “focused” study. No distractions and only study.
2.   5 mins break is a “focused” break. Do what you enjoy during this time.
3.   Lastly ensure the 5 mins break is actually 5 mins. :)

This is one of the most easy technique you have heard. Isn't it simple? Would love to hear you comments and feedback.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

2 unbelievably simple but smart ways to study with friends!

Hey, So you are all set for a study time along with your study buddy? It's cool to be able to study with your friend. Chips for munching, coke or coffee, couch or bean bag just makes up the mood. If there are 2 or more than 2 friends together, that's even better. Studies are enjoyed a lot more when you have a friend or a group of friends with you. Isn't it?

We absolutely agree that it's fun and we want it to remain a fun. That's the best way to get the most out of your studies. The issue is when the purpose of studying together is defeated.

Do you know, there are two unbelievably simple but really smart ways to study together with friends? "STUDY" together or study "TOGETHER". Didn't get it? Come on, you got it.

  • STUDY together - You just want to be with someone who quietly sits with you and continues doing his/her studies while you do yours
  • Study TOGETHER - You want to discuss, talk, deliberate with the other person in order to understand the study topic better
What do you want to do?

- STUDY together - Goal is to spend some time together studying individually.

  • Agree and decide on rules - Time to study, time for breaks, time to talk/discuss, time to eat etc. Read the "Pizza Technique" to understand more around how can you schedule your study times. 
  • Pick somebody who is a little more sincere than you
  • Solving papers, completing homework or assignments, activities that do not need discussions could be best done here
- Study TOGETHER - Objective is to understand a topic better by discussing it with friend.

  • Follow an explosive formula to study TOGETHER - RDX 
    R - Read. Read and try to understand yourself whatever you want to discuss.
    D - Discuss. Discuss and exchange your understanding about a topic with friend. Let him/her do it too.
    X - Xpress. Once the topic is understood, express your understanding by drawing, writing. Avoid Q&A and rather focus on understanding the concept. You can answer any question once you conceptually understand a topic. Imagine somebody asking you a story of Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban or Game of thrones. You may talk for minutes! Why? because you have understood it better.   
  • Pick somebody who is a little smarter than you
  • Remember - Learning is "recreating". While you will use D - discuss to recreate, X - Xpress should be used with "writing" and "drawing" and not just "talking". 

Finally and most importantly, you know there are different kind of friends. Some are your study friends and some are your fun friends. Some are your TP friends and some would be your hi-bye friends. Always remember the purpose of Studying together. It should help both of you.

So stop if it doesn't. "But how can I do it to my friend?" - Let's address it in another blog post.

Until then - have fun while studying! 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Did you know, learning effectively is actually an ACT of SEEING?

How do we ask our kids to learn today? How do you learn? Are you still hooked on to old style of mugging up or writing questions and answers? Read through some latest research and learn to spend less time and study more effectively.

How does an effective learning happen?
University of IOWA figured out that brain processes auditory information entirely differently than visual or tactile! Visual images tend to have more things that we instantly associate with them. These connections make information more “memorable”. Auditory experience is forced to recreate the visual representation and then associate it with what we know. Same is the case with “reading”. This exercise of recreating the visual representation is longer and cannot happen on the fly as we hear or read. A complete learning experience is when multi-sensory experience in involved. It helps store, process and re-create what is learned a lot effectively. Thus it’s essential to combine hearing/reading experience with visual and/or tactile experience to have the most effective learning experience.

A proof that a complete learning experience works:
Scientists did an experiment several years ago.  A group of people was introduced to a woman and told her name was Mrs. Baker. She was then wearing a casual outfit. Same woman was introduced to another group of people and was told that she was a “baker”. She was then wearing baker’s cloths and outfit. Several days later, both groups were asked who they had met and second group did 70% better than first group. Why? Because they could relate to her occupation better. Images of floor, cakes, cooking built connections in the memory and ensured a better recall!

Three learning styles: 
There are three types of learning styles.

The visual learners are visually stimulated (predominantly) when it comes to subjects of learning. Diagrams or illustrations aid visual learners the best. They are the biggest group and make up about 65% of the population. Second type of learning style is auditory. Auditory learners are able to understand subject through auditory medium or discussion with other individuals. They will read the text book aloud to understand it better. They make up to 30% of population. The third type of learning is kinesthetic or tactile. These types of learners engage themselves physically by touch or other sensory organs to learn a topic.

Do you try to remember certain topic by closing eyes? It is an attempt to visualize what you had learned, trying to create a picture, build a map and imagine! Our brain works on references and associations and once they find an associated fact, you are all set!

Learning effectively:
Know that visual memory is strongest of all types of memories, yet we rely on it so less! We are caught in the midst of traditional ways and means of learning. We want children to “listen” to a class teacher. We still want them to know Q&A by heart. We ask them to rehearse the spelling. Many times the class teacher may also just “speak” and won’t use visual aids to “enrich” the experience. Visual aid doesn’t necessarily mean – eLearning always. Visual learning could be by using hand drawn images, charts, flowcharts, pictures etc. The richer the learning experience the better is the information absorption and retrieval. Remember, visual information is processed by children 60,000 times faster. They will typically retain 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear. So next time you ask your kid to read – think twice!

Few tips to visual learning:  
  • Convert the information into an image or chart
  • Recreate a visual chart/image yourself.
  • Colour code the information. All related concepts are highlighted using same colour.
  • Mind map is an excellent tool to organize information.
  • Associate visual cues with words or terms
Try these tips and you will be nicely surprised to see how effectively you/your kids are able to memorise!