No one really teaches you how to study. How to learn. We spend years and sometimes lots of money learning X and Y in school but we don't learn how to learn.
Yet, knowing how to learn is probably the most useful skill out there. Because then you can learn anything you want. And then do anything you want.
I remember how the notes I took in school were disconnected bullet points simply paraphrasing what the teacher just said. I didn't ask very many questions during class. When reading to learn something, I still revert back to making highlights (which doesn't really help you learn) and only sometimes write summaries in the margins.
That's ok. Thanks to all the great information out there, I'm learning how to get better at learning.
Now, when I read, I'm going to do a few things to train myself to learn better:
- Stop highlighting and taking notes while reading. Learn to read for longer without highlighting or taking a note and making my brain feel good about learning something when it actually didn't. Hold more ideas in my head for longer, increase the cognitive load my mind can handle.
- After a longer period of reading, not only summarize the ideas in writing but more importantly connect them to each other and the "bigger picture" of the topic. Draw diagrams and mind maps. Evaluate and question what I read. Engage with the ideas. Encode the ideas into my memory as an interconnected mental model of concepts instead of independent things to memorize.