Learn faster than you think you can!


Over the last couple of years, I’ve had this fascination with increasing my speed of learning new things. Mostly I focus on understanding things with the least amount of time invested. I’ve also learned more about myself as part of this process. I have not researched this extensively yet or looked up things about memory or learning to get a more scientific basis for any of this. The following are just my own observations about myself in my own words.

Memory Recall

My belief is that increasing speed of learning has partly to do with memory recall in the moment. Basically how fast you can recall something from the past that is relevant to the present conversation or situation. I can remember a whole conversation much better if I think about what I heard visually, based on where I am and the things happening in my surroundings. It feels like my memory gets unlocked when I basically physically “go there” in my head. I also tend to walk around when I am on the phone. There’s been days where I’ve walked up to 12 miles when working from home. I would just pace around the house while on the phone. I can vividly recall some of those conversations by remembering where I was walking and who I was talking to.

Speed of Information Digestion

I’ve developed this habit of consuming information faster than at 1x speed. I first tried speed reading. Turns out that I am better at skimming than speed reading. I tend to read the words by saying them in my head which goes against most recommendations about speed reading. I then discovered Audible (now my favorite Amazon product) and the 3x speed option. I was hooked. I love listening to Audible at 3x and also love the YouTube 2x speed option for videos. I commute every day to San Francisco and end up spending at least 90 minutes in the car. On most days I listen to audiobooks during the time that I spend driving. I’m able to consume about 1 – 2 books a week this way.

I feel like I can always get better at my speed of learning (and understanding). I can see this being a lifelong pursuit and that’s exciting. In future blog posts, I’m going to be diving deeper into “speeding” with some research and also sharing some of my favorite audiobooks and content that I’ve learned from.