Sleep on it

Stewing on it is a useful mental technique to enhance learning. But sometimes doing something physical in the hopes that things will bubble up from your subconscious isn’t the only way to elicit learning. Another simple way is to put down the books. Learn for a while and then stop. Stop at least for a day. Enough time to sleep on things.

Let your mind reset. Including letting all the little conclusions bubble up from stewing on it. Let your mind let go. That usually requires sleep. That’s the best way to shut down. Of course even while you sleep, things are bubbling up. But the continuity in your conscious mind isn’t the same when you sleep. Perhaps sleep on it for a few days or a week.

If you fear you’ll forget to come back to it, well then the learning probably wasn’t that important. If you’re still concerned, put a reminder on your calendar.

Then, when you’re ready, pick up where you left off. When you do, it’s probably a good opportunity to revisit the impetus for why you’re learning in the first place. Revisit the things you should do before significant investments in learning. Make sure the investment is still worthwhile. Make course corrections if necessary. And then get back to it. Or move on to something else.

Reflect upon what you remember from before. Think about the benefits and improvements you seek. Try to recall what really stood out before. See if you can use your memory alone. That’s a good indication that you learned something. Then, if something seems missing, revisit your notes. If something was, add it to your list. If not, move into new areas. And just like before, stop after a while of learning. Stew on it. Sleep on it. And repeat.