Want to learn faster, retain more information, and improve your memory? You are not alone: while success can sometimes be the result of what you know, long-term success is almost always based on What you know. This is why most successful people are constant learners.
And that’s why most successful people take a research-based approach to learn faster and retain more. Like learning several subjects or skills in a row. Or by harnessing the power of memory consolidation and reconsolidation. Or, oddly enough, exercising before trying to learn something new. Or even more oddly, by sleeping for better long-term memory and better recall.
Now add another technique to the list: Research shows that you can learn just as much by watching a video at twice the normal speed as you do at normal speed.
And as a bonus, learn even more in the same time as you would have spent.
First the basics. According to a recent study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, students who watched lecture videos at 1.5x speed retained as much information over the course of a week as those who watched at normal speed.
The same was true for 2x speed, making – even though millions of people choose it – the 1.5x button an irrelevant choice. (Why spend 45 minutes watching what is normally an hour-long video when you can only spend 30 and still get the same learning outcome?)
This is level one: click on the 2X to learn as much in half the time.
Then if you really want to improve your learning game, add another 2x visualization right before you are “tested” on what you have learned. In the case of the study, participants who watched the same video 2x again just before taking a test scored higher than those who only watched the video once.
Why? Recency clearly makes a difference … and repeated visualization also helps promote memory consolidation, the process that stabilizes a memory after its initial acquisition.
This is level two: learn a lot more in the same amount of time.
Give it a try. Let’s say you’re one of the 56 million people (and more) who want to learn more about the power of vulnerability through Brene Brown’s classic TED Talk.
Watch the video at 2x speed. (The speed will be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll settle in quickly.)
But don’t just passively listen. Take Jim Kwik’s advice and ask yourself three questions:
- “How? ‘Or’ What Can I use it? “
- “Why should I use it? “
- “When am I going to use this? “
These three questions will improve your recall, as your new knowledge now has a goal, motivation, and timeline.
Then wait a week and watch the video again at 2x speed.
This way you will remember even more and therefore you will be more likely to use what you know.
And at the same time, you would have switched to watching the video once, at normal speed.