From my own experience I know that a huge amount of information is dumped on a novice developer, especially mastering the profession on their own. At the beginning, there is practically no knowledge and experience, and new information obtained from books and articles, when assimilated, has nothing to associate with in one’s memory. And, if practical knowledge is constantly in use, then basic, theoretical things are difficult to fit and without refreshment they quickly disappear from the beginner’s head. Realizing such a disappointing trend, I became interested in the issue of increasing reading speed and memory efficiency. In this article I want to share with you the results of studying this issue by describing the most interesting, from my point of view, moments from several books read.
Brain development. Roger Sip
The book addresses issues of increasing reading speed and increasing attentiveness. Roger Sipe is an orator and a coach, which leads to a peculiar presentation: emotionally charged and motivating. Despite the fact that such a manner is not very close to me, discarding the excess, I was able to find something useful in the book.
The main ways to increase reading speed:
- When reading, you don’t need to pronounce the text to yourself, otherwise the reading speed decreases to the reading speed out loud.
- when moving along the line while reading, our eyes make stops during which information is perceived by the brain. Saip claims that the frequency of these stops is inherent in nature and is approximately 4 times per second. So, if we cannot influence the frequency of stops, we can try to expand the field of view: to perceive during the stop not just one word, but a whole section of the line. The book provides exercises for developing this skill.
- an increase in reading speed also enhances mindfulness, as You are focused on the correct perception and maintenance of speed, which means you have no time to be distracted.
- both for speed and attentiveness, it is useful to keep a ruler or sheet of paper on the page while reading. The speed of mechanical movement will determine the speed of reading, and the moving object will instinctively attract the attention of the eye. We have been familiar with this technique from school, but here we can use another secret: you need to close not the lower ones from the line being read, but the upper ones. This will exclude the possibility of returning to what has already been read for her greater mobilization of attention, because you are cutting off your way back.
In order not to lose reading comprehension as the reading speed increases, the author offers such a technique as obtaining preliminary knowledge. This allows you to first immerse the brain in the context of new information in order to facilitate its perception during high-speed reading.
The author offers the following method of obtaining preliminary knowledge:
- read the first paragraph
- read the last paragraph
- read a couple sentences from all paragraphs
From my point of view, this speed reading technique is more suitable for quickly refreshing knowledge than for learning new things. So if you need to "go over" the already familiar material, then it is quite suitable. In addition to the described quick reading technique, the author offers a methodology for the formation of motivating goals.
How to increase your intelligence. Richard D. Pellegrino, Michael D. Politis
The authors of the book fascinatingly described many features of the brain and sensory organs, and also did not ignore the issues of memorization. I made the following tips for myself regarding the acquisition of new knowledge (mainly by reading):
- better to read at about the same time, because the brain gets used to a certain schedule and by the appointed time is already "ready" for the development of a new one.
- organization of the reading process: after about 45 minutes of active study with complete immersion in the question, the brain needs to relax and digest the information, so it’s better to be distracted for 15 minutes. In this case, you need to be distracted “correctly”: it is better to engage in some kind of mechanical activity, limiting the flow of input information, thereby relieving the brain and memory.
- the necessity of repeating the studied information before it is thoroughly entrenched in memory is inevitable. Moreover, it is better to do this in several stages: the next day, in a week, in a month. For myself, I developed the following repetition tactics: firstly, I make small notes based on the results of the study. Now there are many applications that allow you to synchronize recordings on a desktop computer and mobile devices. And I’m not just rewriting what I’ve read, but retelling it “in my own words”, which makes me think and revise the material I’ve just studied. Every day in transport on the way to work, I look through these notes on the phone. Secondly, at the end of the week I conduct a kind of review of new information received during this period: I just sort through the memory of what I learned and again look through the notes.
Improving memory at any age. Daniel Lapp
And finally, I would like to turn to the book (let it not bother you with its name), which addresses the general issues of memory organization and effective work with it. The narrative is unhurried and understandable, without abstruse theories.
According to the book, the key to finding the right information is images, relationships with other information, and an emotional context . For long-term storage and successful reproduction of information, the process of mastering and memorizing new knowledge must be active, it can be called conscious memorization.. With deliberate memorization, you need to carefully think over, weigh, consider the information received from different sides, create figurative analogies, associations, connect emotions, coloring the information itself or images. Conscious remembering is, I repeat, an active and creative process in which curiosity and imagination are useful.
For successful memorization, you need:
- need or interest
- attention and concentration
Without real motivation, without strong interest, the brain will not try its best to remember information. This is like a foundation, and then attention and concentration allow you to properly absorb information, adjust the focus to the right one, cut off extraneous information and allow you to correctly organize new information in your memory: build up associative connections, supplement its emotional component, create images. The more detailed the image, the more familiar and close, filled with the emotional component, the easier it is to search for memories with it, the easier it is to reproduce.
In conclusion, I want to say that the issues of organizing memory and effective memorization are important and very interesting, because in our time for successful work in the IT field you need to be able to digest, store and, most importantly, be able to reproduce a huge amount of information at the right time. Effective reading and memorization will help with this! I hope the article was useful to you and you will put into practice the above tips, or you will start to study memory issues on your own and develop your own methods. In the next article, I will talk about my experience in using mental images to remember a device for organizing memory and garbage collection in .NET.