Dont Over Stuff Your Brain

When it comes to our brains, less is more and quality is better than quantity. Slow down and take more breaks, you’ll be amazed how much more you retain for life!

Whether you are learning or teaching, it’s important to not over stuff your brain. Studies have shown that the mind cannot absorb more than three things at a time. So, if you are writing, don’t make more than 3 main points or they will be wasted on over-fed minds. If you are looking to read and understand something, break it down into three or less main categories. Yellow pads are great for this. You’d do well to “space out” the time you have to study as well. The theory of time spaced learning got me through College Algebra at the junior college. I have always struggled with math and a teacher shared with the class about it. My life has been improved ever since!

The theory goes like this: instead of studying to absorb new material over the course of an hour, break up your time into 15 minute increments. The data shows that memory is strongest when you start and stop a study time. Therefore, instead of having strong memories only twice in an hour, you will have them at the start and stop of each mini session. This equals more knowledge retained! Now this was great news to me, because I loved taking breaks from math!

When it comes to our brains, less is more and quality is better than quantity. Slow down and take more breaks, you’ll be amazed how much more you retain for life!

Author: Damien Riley

Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

12 thoughts on “Dont Over Stuff Your Brain”

  1. Wow, this info would have been so helpful when I was in Uni. I would study for hours and still barely pass the test! And it totally helps in other areas of life too!

    I love this small series you’re doing on the brain, it’s super (is ‘uber’ the new word for that?) interesting!

    Katelyns last blog post..Starting Fresh

  2. This reminds me of that Married With Children episode where Kelly Bundy is going to compete on a quiz show but she can only store x amount of facts in her brain. When she reaches that point, a fact she previously learned falls out! I guess there is some truth to that! LOL

    Jessica The Rock Chicks last blog post..Sweet Dreams

  3. I was told to stop using the computer for 10 minutes per hour because it dries out my eyes so much. I came up with the brilliant plan to do even better, every 20 minutes break for 10. Not that I did it. Now, you have given me a second reason to take that break. I suppose a third is to actually do something else those gained 20 minutes per hour. Thanks, Damien, I needed a push and short study makes sense.

    Marcias last blog post..Dear Mom

  4. Excellent points. Personally as well as taking breaks I found knowledge assocaition helped me retain information, little things like listening to a particular artist or band for different topics would help when trying to remember. I hear mind maps do a similar thing for people who remember in more visual ways

    Richs last blog post..Amsterdam

  5. Rich, what a great suggestion. The next time I try and learn something new I will try the music association thing. Thanks so much for your comment. I look forward to more from you!

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