When learning new material it can feel impossible to retain large amounts of information. Many people feel like the more time they put into reviewing the material the more likely they are to remember it. That simply doesn’t work. Instead, it is best to do the following:
Break the subject up into chunks that can be reviewed in 20-30 minutes, and then take 10-15 minute breaks after each chunk.
During these breaks rest quietly without distractions. Avoid computers, TV, phones, conversations, etc. You are looking for 10-15 minutes of quiet reflection.
The idea of “minimal interference” during the break is crucial. This gives your brain the chance to organize the new information into the existing patterns it has already formed. Distractions during this time can impair this process or worse.
Doing nothing seems like being lazy, but it is key to process to reflect on what you’ve learned and to do so without an agenda. Adopt a childlike curiosity regarding the new information as you clear your mind of any other concerns. This allows your brain the freedom to process the new information without bias or artificial associations.
Enjoy your new memory!