Jethro's Braindump

Learning How To Learn


What is learning?

The brain operates in 2 modes: diffuse mode and focused mode. It is important to exploit both modes for efficient learning.


  1. When procrastinating, just start.
  2. When learning something new, take time to rest and come back to it. One effective method is to sleep right after learning something.
  3. Sleep and exercise are important.


Chunking is the act of grouping concepts into compact packages of information for easy access.


  1. Turn off distractions.
  2. Solve the problem yourself; avoid the illusion of competence.
  3. A chunk you have mastered in one area can often help you more easily learn other chunks of information.
  4. Learn the large-picture concept first, before diving into the details.
  5. Try to recall new material learnt, in different places.
  6. Test yourself.
  7. Don’t always trust your initial intuition.
  8. Interleave problems from different chapters. This helps connect different chunks of information.


Habit is an energy saver, it reduces the need for focus when performing tasks.

Getting rid of procrastination can be done by:

  1. Recognizing the trigger that launches you into a bad habitual routine.
  2. Actively focus on rewiring bad habits.
  3. Reward yourself for achieving step goals towards breaking the habits.
  4. Change the underlying belief that causes the bad habit.


  • Visual memory is powerful. Images help encapsulate a hard to remember concept.
  • Consider spaced repetition.
  • Create meaningful structure to help remember.
  • Numbers can be memorised by linking to events.
  • Memory palace technique: use a familiar place, and associate visual images of things with physical places.
  • Use metaphors and analogies to help memorise and understand different concepts

Studying Practices

  1. Step back and check, to consolidate knowledge.
  2. Find focused people to analyse your work with.
  3. Don’t fool yourself.


  1. Did you make a serious effort to understand the text?
  2. Did you attempt to outline every homework problem solution?
  3. Did you understand all your homework problem’s solutions?

Test-taking Technique

  1. Take a quick look at the test.
  2. Start with the hardest problem, and look at it for a few minutes. Let the mind work on it while your work on other problems.
  3. Solve what you can, and move back to the hard problem.