How many blogs do you read a day? How many books do you read in a month? How much information do you take in over a year?
If you’re anything like me, it is quite a bit.
I have a list of blogs that I read regularly. It’s easy. They come to my inbox and I can choose what to read.
I’ve got more than a few bookshelves worth of books. It’s easy to go and pick one up and read it.
There’s also podcasts, audiobooks, webinars, and more that I take in.
The great information that is available is mind boggling.
And yet that is the problem.
I find myself jumping from one blog post to the next. One book to another. Podcasts and webinars are the same.
I consume and consume and consume. Rarely stopping to process and apply what I’ve learned.
Do you find yourself doing the same? If you’re like me, you do it more than you think.
“Because in truth, we aren’t really committed to improving and changing ourselves. We’re just drawn to positive, inspirational ENTERTAINMENT.”
— Kevin Miller
Statistics show us that we remember ten percent of what we read, twenty percent of what we hear, and thirty percent of what we see. That’s pretty scary, huh?
But there’s good news. You can retain more of what you read, hear, and see. All it takes is time.
- Revisit the material you’ve consumed
One of the best things you can do is revisit the material you’ve consumed. When you reread, re-listen, or re-watch you will catch knowledge that the creator of the content wanted you to catch.
Think about it. If it took the author a year to write the book will you really learn everything the author wanted you to learn in the first reading? You’re probably shaking your head and saying “Nope, I don’t think that will happen.
“With that answer, decide to revisit the learning materials that have had the greatest impact on you. Take it in once again and see what jumps out at you this time around.
- Take notes
Create a strategy to take notes while you’re consuming the new knowledge.For books, I have 3X5 note cards that I use to take notes on. They work great as bookmarks as well.
For podcasts, I struggle with taking notes as I’m normally driving or running. This makes it difficult to take notes on paper. So I try to use an audio recorder or text messages to record notes during podcasts.
For webinars, it is fairly easy. I have a text editor open and ready to type in. When the presenter makes a great point, I type it into the text editor and am able to save it.
Now remember, your notes won’t do you any good unless you have a plan to review them. Make sure you’re taking time to review what you’ve written. Without doing this you’ll lose much of what you’ve learned.
- Slow down
Lastly, take your time and slow down.
Reread a tough or challenging section. A chapter has an interesting title? Focus on it and take your time. Soak in the information and make sure you’re processing it.The slower you take it in, the more time your brain has to process what it’s consuming. Let your brain work!
With all the information out there, we have so many choices and so little time. Yet it won’t do you much good unless you’re intentional about your learning.
Be intentional about consuming the information and applying it to your life. If you don’t, it will fall to the wayside.
Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.”
— Brian Tracy
Question: How do you retain the information that you take in? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.