• Study Music: Spotify, Focus@Will and Playlists of Music for Studying


    We have special kinds of music for whenever we want to feel motivated: sports, driving in the car, clubs, parties, pre-parties. So what about studying? I’ll start by discussing the neuroscience of good study music. You can scroll down and jump straight to the review of Focus at Will (the dedicated focus music streaming service) or check out […]

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  • Failing Your Way to Beating Everything


    Many people who write in to this blog are struggling with overcoming some obstacle in their learning. From a lack of motivation to getting stuck on a plateau, it might be tempting to think that you’re failing to learn. However, there are two types of failure: one bad, and one good. I’ll show you why […]

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  • How To Relax on a Vacation (Without Stopping Learning)


    Giving yourself permission to finally relax on a vacation can be hard. It’s easy to forget that the biggest changes in perspective (and thus the most profound learning) can only happen in unexpected ways. You cannot plan for an insight. You can only seek to make it possible. Vacations are that possibility. If your fear is that […]

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  • The Surprising Truth About Rest, Recovery and Learning


    These days, sleep is thought of as a “weakness” at best, and an affliction at worst. The attentive skillhacker has proof of how important rest is, though. When I graph my progress, for example, I regularly notice the largest jumps after taking a very specific kind of break. Rest, when used properly, is a tool for […]

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  • Setting Goals to Improve Learning


    Once you’re past the very first stages of learning something and have created a practice routine, how do you keep motivated? Setting goals is a form of commitment device. But it’s also a lot more than that. How Goals Work In game design, goals are objectives which us game designers use to get the player to play for just […]

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  • How Long to Study or Practice to Retain the Most


    We’ve all heard it said: “practice makes perfect.” But just how much practice? And how should you go about it? It this post, I’ll look at what science has to say about how much you practice.   The Lesser-Known Finding of the 10,000 Hours Study Malcolm Gladwell famously popularized the “10,000 hours” meme. In case […]

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  • The Learning Curve: How Muscle Memory and Memorization Work


    Anything you want to learn probably has both a physical (muscle memory) and mental (rote memorization) component. Both of them have their own “learning curve.” It’s easy to see that memorizing the bones of the body for a biology test is a largely mental task, while picking up a new sport is largely physical. It might surprise […]

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  • Kick-Start Your Learning


    As I prepared to learn to become musical in just one year, I needed to figure out where to start. Here’s the inside look at how to go about the very first stages of learning any new skill. Without a doubt, preparation is the most important part of learning anything. Diving straight into doing is like putting […]

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