7 Tips to creating learning anchors to get more out of your continuing education
Let’s talk about emotional anchors.
Have you ever gone to a movie, and even though you’ve seen it before and know exactly what’s going to happen, you start to cry at a certain point in the movie?
Is there a song that makes you happy regardless of how grumpy and miserable you felt, all of a sudden it makes you fee happy and alive?
Other instances can be things like a place (ever hear people say they are going to their ‘happy place’?) that instantly create some sort of emotion within you. When I was going through my divorce many years ago that place for me was the beach. When I was feeling down I would grab a coffee and head down to my local beach and just sit there and just ‘be’ in the moment.
The beach STILL holds that emotional trigger for me (even though I now live in the country) and every time I’m there I instantly feel relaxed and calm.
These physiological triggers are called anchors and an anchor can happen in an instant.
Whenever you trigger your anchor, whenever you watch that movie, listen to that song, or walk along the beach, it happens instantly (and unconsciously).
If you watch carefully you will notice that alot professional sports people do something strange. For example one of the 100-meter runners in the Olympics, he kept licking his lips all the time and you could see that when ever he was on the starting box. This was his trigger/anchor. I’ve also noticed football players ‘tapping’ before a game (Like acupuncture and acupressure, Tapping is a set of techniques which utilize the body’s energy meridian points. You can stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power.). These are their specific anchors to get them into ‘the playing zone’ mindset.
So how do you get yourself into the learning zone by using learning anchors?
1. The first thing is time. Set aside specific learning times. Personally, I’m a bit of an eCourse junky and I’m always being active about self-improvement. I set aside one hour every single morning (or you can schedule weekly, it really depends on your style) specifically for learning or self-improvement. So, when 9am comes around after my son has left for school, I go into learning/training mode and my brain just switches on. ‘It is morning. It’s a weekday. It’s training time’. So, that 9am time is anchored and I learn and absorb a lot of more quickly.
2. Create the space. Whether you have a comfortable office or reading chair, create a comfortable space that you love. The more you use all this, the quicker your brain will say, ‘ahh it’s learning time! Let’s get focused!’ and ‘bang!’ you will get straight into it.
So, now you’ve set aside the time, created your space…
3. Music. Baroque music is best, but when you are learning at your best there are certain brain wave patterns that will help you absorb information quicker. When you trigger these brain waves patterns, your learning outcomes improve significantly and baroque music triggers these brain wave patterns.
4. Smell. There are certain smells that will help you learn more effectively. I have essential oils I use specifically for when I’m trying to be creative, productive and learn.
5. Remove all distractions. One interruption takes between 11 and 21 minutes of your brain space or head space. So, every time you’re interrupted it takes between 11 and 21 minutes to get back to where you were before you are interrupted. Think of it this way, if you have 3 interruptions in an hour, that whole hour is gone and screwed. So, remove distractions, turn off your phone, close the door to your office and ensure you remain 100% focused.
6. Stick to only working in 90-minute increments. Going beyond 90 minutes has a decreased outcome and your mind can tend to wander and lose focus. In other words, after 90 minutes your brain is starting to tire and needs to recharge and rejuvenate. So take a 10min break and then either continue or move on with something else.
7. Hydrate and eat brain food. The other thing that helps you learn are things like nuts and fruits as snacks. You’ve got to keep your energy levels up and eating small amounts of nuts and fruits and snacks this will help, and obviously keeping yourself hydrated as well. They say that coffee is not a good thing for this (I know you had to pick me up off the floor when I found this out!), water or herbal teas are obviously the better option but hey…. we’re only human right!)
So, these are the key anchors to helping you to learn more effectively. If you apply these learning triggers (and by the way I have been creating these anchors with my son when it comes to homework time and the results are amazing) then you will find that in just one hour of dedicated learning time, you will learn and absorb MORE information that you normally would
I would love to hear from you… do you have specific times and/or routines set aside for self-improvement? Let me know in the comments below 🙂