here, when we learn a new piece of information, the brain grows new dendrites on neurons, thus hard-wiring the new information. But if we do not quickly review that new information, we will quickly lose that information. The rest of this post is going to deal with the factors that will influence how you will structure your revision planning, and the next post will give you some ideas of how to structure your revision planning. I'm not going to be dogmatic like Dr House about how you should structure your revision timetable because there are a number of factors that will influence how you will structure your revision timetable. 1. The duration of each study session. If each study session is one hour, then you are going to be extremely unlike to follow an intensive revision timetable. By the same token, if your study sessions are only five minutes, your revision timetables are going to be so complicated that not even Tom Cruise (excuse the background hurling noise) in Minority Report would be able to keep track of. You need to find a study time of about 20 to 25 minutes because it means for each subsequent revision session, the amount of time you spend on that section decreases by about 50-60%. 2. The number of facts learned per session.This is a very similar concept to the first point and for the same reasons. Bear in mind here that the optimum number of distinct learned facts that should be learned at any one sitting that are directly related should be between 5 and 9. If you can learn more per session, then go ahead - everyone is different. 3. Your existing schedule. This is an obvious one. There are only so many hours in the day, and you have got a certain number of commitments and activities already scheduled. You will need to plan around these events. 4. Your own rhythms. What I mean by this is that each of us is unique in the way we function during the day. For example I can stay awake very easily late into the night but struggle to wake up in the morning. Whereas my wife is the opposite. She can hardly keep her eyes open beyond 9 pm! During the day, some people have a mid-afternoon slump. I don't seem to have that. You need to take note of what your own rhythms are.The other day I was in the operating room assisting Dr Roloff once again. This time, the patient was in a predicament very similar to the patient in the X-ray above. She had fallen and broken her thigh bone (femur) below her prosthetic hip joint. She must have been in a lot of pain! It took us about three and a half hours to get the old hip joint out, as well as the cement, and get the femur ready for the new prosthesis. But the femur was in such a bad state that we had to create a cage of metal wires around it so and leave it for six weeks to heal before we go back in and insert the new prosthesis. That procedure is called a Revision Hip Replacement. Quite ironic, I think! Seen as we are dealing with surgery to your revision planning. As already noted
Getting Organized in the Google Era by Douglas Merrill, former C.I.O. of Google. I highly recommend it. He approaches this multi-million dollar topic of organizing your life in a totally unique and different approach. One of the segments of the book that is very relevant is when he talks about our brains and their short-term and long-term memory.I am reading a book called
Short-term memoryYour brain is only able to hold between 5 and 9 things in its short-term memory. But, these items need to be related to each other in some way. If you then shift contexts quickly, the new pieces of information entering your short-term memory will push some of those previous memories out before you have been able to put them into long-term memory. Multi-tasking? So, in essence, the concept of multi-tasking in many contexts is going to make you less effective. That's why the good writers and bloggers will create chunks of information in their writing. Then they will tell a story about it. Then they will re-iterate it in different words, then again a third time from a different angle. Good Writers? Yes, good writers will chunk the information, paint some pictures of it, then re-iterate it in different terms. Then they will link those 5 to 9 items to a further 5 to 9 items, hoping that you have had time to transfer those first 5 to 9 items into long-term memory. Good Studiers? This is absolutely essential for learners. You learn in chunks of 5 to 9 items at a time. Insert them into long-term memory by linking them to things you already know, and by applying study techniques that work for you. Don't let someone tell you that there is only one way to learn. S4L That is one of the big reasons I am developing the S4L (Schooled For Life) program. My big plans for it are to release a curriculum based on those seven principles. Don't let anyone tell you how you must learn. You decide that for yourself. The S4L program will empower you to do that. Now, where has that novel I was reading whilst writing this post gone?